acceptation of constructing eco-toilettes by women


Acceptation of constructing Eco-toilettes by women in Bandiagara

Main activities in the last months:

- We made a plan with the entrepreneur to carry out the project
- The women had a theoretical education of 3 months
- The women had a training on hygiene/water and sanitation, 10 weeks , one day a week
- The women had a practical education of 2 months in constructing toilets
- The women started constructing the toilets; but the training /education of the women and the supervising of the building constructor will take more time, that will influence the motivation of the women and acceptation of their husbands. so we have to organize some activities to keep acceptation and motivation.

We asked the entrepreneur ( building contructor) Youssouf Minta to supervise this project.
That was a good choice: he has much experience in supervising women groups in Mali, he is a member of the Chamber of Commerce in the region; know Bandiagara very well.

Because of the support of VIA Water, it is possible to introduce in Bandiagara and the Dogon eco-toilets and to pay attention to water/sanitation and hygiene matters. Also the role of women in this question got much attention and will be very important.
8 women had the special training for constructing ( theoretical and practical education) eco-toilets.
15 women participated on the training of water/sanitation and hygiene

Some activities are necessary to facilitate the acceptation
There are different levels on acceptation:
- The director of the vocational school for women: a very important project for the women and the school, it helps promoting the school and the theme is very important;
- The building constructor: he never built this kind of toilets, he accepted this order and told us that this project is very important for the region within the framework of climate change;
- The women: they accept, there was a severe selection of the women who participate in this project; for them it is also new; they often have no flush toilets and informing them that they can use these toilets without water and re-using the faeces. It also gives them a chance to start their enterprise. All these things made it easy to accept, But the reaction of their husbands influences their motivation, Extra accompaniment of the women is therefore necessary
- The men, ( 7 women are married) they accept the idea of working of the women on this area but they do not accept that they cannot do all the things in their households, so there is less support of the men, Perhaps that will change when the women will earn some money.

Because it seems difficult for men to accept the activities of the women we decided to organize some interactive workshops for men to inform them about the goals of constructing these toilets and the importance of these toilets for the whole community. For this project we need the solidarity of men. It is also in their interest. So we will not only give more information but we will also ask men and stakeholders to make a suggestion how to tide over the time that women have their vocational training till they can start their enterprise and earn some money. This a question of division of tasks between men and women and also a question of poverty.

Rozemarijn ter Horst's picture

Thank you for this update. It is great to read - very interesting how you are involving the local men as well.