Project Results: 

Protos installed a sanitation block – Sanimarket - in Athiéme, offering several types of latrines, urinals and showers. People can use and test these facilities, and order one to be installed at their home by trained masons; all this according to their preferences and available means. All models are technically sustainable and built in locally available materials. This approach is needed, since open defecation is still rampant in the region at 82%. 

Besides offering a sanitation facility, seeing and talking about the toilets in the Sanimarket will lead community members to start viewing toilet-use as the normal situation – instead of open defecation and/or other practices. Additionally, the different models and equipment on display show users the practical possibilities for installing a toilet in their homes. 

Key results
The project accomplished:

  • One Sanimarket, called ‘Mɛmɛ xᴐ’ (pronounced as ‘mémé chgô’) meaning ‘house of hygiene’, in Athiémé, Benin, with a surface of 600 m², a showroom with different toiletmodels and three sanitary blocks. 
  • A newly designed latrine, equipped with a seat, without smell or insects and with a manual flush, equally called ‘Mɛmɛ xᴐ’
  • 2 Communication and promotional campaigns, using the slogan ‘A toilet for everyone, a relief for all!’
  • A social survey, marketing study and impact studies
  • Private sector training for sanimarket managers and sales agents

Tips for the future

  • It is important to stay focused on the goals but – above all – be flexible enough to challenge oneself to move forward. 
  • Training on business development and on sales is crucial and should get sufficient attention in a project
  • Partnerships need to equally focused on building an autonomous and profitable business then on involvement of local elected officials. 

Potential for growth
In 5 years’ time, at least two more Sanimarches should be build in other cities of the country. This can be done with support of the OmiDelta programme of the Dutch government. The Sanimarches should become innovation hubs in sanitation where people can receive information and buy all the services and products they need. The implementation of sanimarketing should enable to sell 3000 latrines.

Project partners
Join for Water/Protos, local municipalities and NGO’s

May 2017 – February 2019


Dogbo, Benin


Since the decentralisation laws came into effect in 2003, the municipalities have been in charge of water and sanitation supply on their administrative territory. Protos stands beside them to take up their role of local contractorship , supporting the municipalities in planning, tender procedures and contracting as well as managing existing infrastructure in the WASH sector. In the management of the water sector, the municipalities are making much progress. Nevertheless, the needs in sanitation are huge: about one-fifth of the deaths and burden of disease is related to water, sanitation and hygiene. This is a high rate, higher than of the neighbouring countries of Togo and Nigeria and more or less comparable to that of Burkina Faso (Prüss-Üstün et al., 2008). Among the various diseases responsible, diseases like diarrhoea and cholera are by far the most important. As in most developing countries, children experience a disproportionate share of this affliction (IOB-BMZ, 2011). Only 5% of Beninese has access to basic sanitation in rural areas and 25% in urban areas (JMP 2014). Open defecation is still a current practise for 76% of the rural population and a significant part of urban population is concerned. Influenced by other West African countries, in 2014 the Government decided to inscribe CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation)method in its strategy, that aims, by arousing disgust, to create a «click» in communities and to make them feel the need to build latrines with their own means (no external subsidies). However, as the households are often very poor and the technical expertise is low, the problem is the viability of the latrines built.

Project Plan

The Municipalities have a local contractorship responsability. They recruit local NGO for the implementation of IEC. Protos is a methodological and technical coach. The action of that project is cyclic: 1- The first step will be the recruitment of the sales person of the Sanimarket (Dogbo Municipality) 2- Then, Dogbo will train her with Protos support 3- The 3rd step will be the social survey and first communication campaign launch (with service providers and experts) 4- After that, Dogbo and Protos will evaluate the results on that first communication campaign on visits and sales in the Sanimarket. 5- Finally, at the end of 2017, a second Sanimarket will be built and the cycle will go on.

Target group

The target population are the citizens of the urban districts of Dogbo (41 341), Lokossa (47 246) and Athiémé (34 551) municipalities: 123 138 inhabitants. The indirect beneficiaries are the citizens of the total Municipalities 103 057, 104 428 and 56 483 respectively in 2013 (RGPH4), that is to say 263 968 people and even the whole Mono-Couffo Departments: 1 242 571 people in 2013 (RGPH4) with a growth rate of 3%/year this population is estimated at 1 398 525 (52,5 % women) in 2017.


Relevant social, environmental, financial, institutional and technical orientations will guarantee to reach long-term sustainability: - Thanks to the social marketing project, the citizens should have their own latrines at home and a better health - Thanks to the latrinization up scaling, the environment will be preserved by reducing groundwater and potable water contamination. - 2 sales persons will be trained and supported and continue to get income out of sales of sanitary facilities - 2 janitors will be responsible for daily maintenance of the Sanimarket and receive monthly indemnities - 20 masons will be trained on technical aspects and small business management. It is expected that at least 70% of them will earn extra income from sanitary facility construction The solid construction of the Sanimarket, the thorough setup and rollout of the social sanitation marketing, and the support of the different actors requires investments. Return on investment will be low during the project period as it is expected that only early adopters will buy a sanitation facility during this time. For different reasons it is safe to say that sales will pick-up on a larger scale by the end of the project thus ensuring further existence of the Sanimarket as a profitable business: • The Sanimarket sales persons will have all capacities to run their business, a strong network of masons, and good knowledge of their potential client base; • CLTS will continue in the intervention area on a larger scale, thus contributing to demand creation; • The project ensures that the early adopters are satisfied customers who will spread their positive experiences as mouth-to-mouth promotion; • As a spill over effect, also people from outside the direct CLTS intervention area will become interested to buy sanitation facilities and contact the sales persons and masons thus increasing their market share

Overview of Goals

The general aim is to improve the health conditions of the population of Mono-Couffo districts, increasing access to sustainable hygiene and sanitation by social sanitation marketing.

Results and indicators

  • The general aim is to improve the health conditions of the population of Mono-Couffo districts, increasing access to sustainable hygiene and sanitation by social sanitation marketing.

    • In the short term, to eradicate open defecation (banalizing the fact of having a latrine at home) . 0 ( target )
    • In the medium term, to up-scale, with sustainable and affordable latrine and other sanitation techniques. 12000 direct beneficiaries ( target )
  • I. The population has increased its demand for sanitation
    • Number of people who bought a latrine 1440 ( target )
    • A latrine can be used by 4 households
    • Number of people upscaling 90 ( target )
    • Number of people that benefit from latrine blocks 1800 ( target )
    • A latrine block has 4 cabins
  • II. The Sanimarket is a link between offer and demand
    • Number of other sanitary facilities and consummables customers
  • III. Private sector development is promoted in regard to favourable and affordable techniques
    • Number of operational sales persons
    • Number of operational janitors 2 ( target )
    • Number of operation masons 20 ( target )