8 finalists for Benin Accelerateur announced

Learning Tour in April will bring participants together


© Greg Westfall
In February, Programme Manager Titia Wouters visited Benin once more. Our first visit was in 2014, and it was time to speak to the Benin water community in person again, since we were missing out on proposals from and for the country. During the visit, Titia spoke with many people, talked about the possibilities within the programme and introduced the Accelerateur (Learning Tour) we will be organising in April. During this 2-day event a selection of future project owners will be able to come together, work on their own proposal (with a team of partners or colleagues), follow workshops, learn about proposal writing, experience how beneficial sharing experiences with other project applicants can be, see how creativity can work for them and learn how to present their ideas effectively. After the event in April, the participants will continue receiving support with the aim to hand in a full VIA Water proposal.

With the tight deadline in mind, many possible participants started working hard to hand in a proposal in time. Twenty-six project ideas were submitted, a number we are very pleased with. The proposals were very diverse, addressing pressing needs ranging from flood-resilience to sanitation. After receiving these ideas, the hard work for the VIA Water team started, making a selection out of these 26 ideas. This week, we were able to announce to eight of them that they made the cut, and that will be participating in the Accelerateur in April. Those are:

  • Greenkeeper is a Benin company that transforms water hyacinth in a very absorbent fibre, which can heavily decrease industrial waste. Greenkeeper works both on social, technological and logistical innovations and wants to improve their chain of production.
  • The NGO´s PNE (Partenariat National de L´Eau) and EAA (Eau et Assainissement pour l’Afrique) will work together with SONEB (the largest drinking water company of Benin) on a warning system for customers on the availability of drinking water, combined with educational services to inform customers about proper use of water resources
  • BEES -  (Benin Environment and Education Society) is an NGO that proposes to work with drones in order to investigate and find solutions for the different forms of pollution in the waters surrounding Cotonou
  • DGRE (the Directorate-General of Water resources in Benin), together with a wide range of partners, like METEO-Benin, ENCCORE (expert in big data), IRHOB, LHA, ANPC  and UNESCO-IHE, will develop  iAlert, a system to inform the people of Benin of upcoming floods, droughts and instant sea level rise.
  • The researchers of IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) and of INE (Institut National de l’Eau) will test and pilot their innovative way to measure groundwater resources and its recharge by using nuclear magnetic resonance.
  • AFEB, the association for private drinking water operators will introduce the concept of pre-paid water both on household level as well as on public stand posts.
  • DCAM BETHESDA, a Benin NGO, heavily involved in collecting, treating and valorising all different sorts of waste, will try out a new technology in the city of Parakou to separate liquid and solid waste of sceptic tanks. They will then transform the waste into valuable products for agricultural purposes
  • The University of Abomey Calavi and its UACStart Up Valley would like to introduce the opportunity to experiment with the concept of pisciculture to their students that are active within the Start Up Valley

Are you working on a water solution for Benin’s pressing needs, and only just now hear about the programme? You can still hand in your proposals; VIA Water does not have any deadlines for the normal procedure. For more information, visit our website: https://www.viawater.nl/project-proposal