Project

Sanitation marketing in DR Congo

Health and a basic level of hygiene are part of human well-being and form a basic need in daily life. People take action to fulfill to these needs for themselves and for the members of their families. The results of those actions depend on several factors.

Towns in Equateur Province (North-West part of DRC) still have a minimum of functioning infrastructure (both physical and human) that pre-dates independence and has survived years of neglect and two wars. Sanitation in especially the unplanned urbanised areas is considered to be a growing problem. Poverty, the lack of infrastructure and the inhabitants inability to invest in the areas where they have found shelter, add to the problem. Health and hygiene promotion provided through government services and civil society organisations alike, are mostly based and developed on participative community approaches in rural and stable settings. These approaches are not necessarily adaptable or applicable in the urban and semi-urban areas.

Oxfam GB is focussing on improving existing collective infrastructure used for hygiene purposes and on safe faecal disposal. Wageningen University contributes to the three objectives of formative research for this project:

A) To study, understand and document the different enabling and limiting factors, dimensions and stages in the process of the bottom-up development, construction, proper use and maintenance of latrines by (semi-)urban households,

B) To create a matching market to provide appropriate materials, construction and maintenance services by means of a services marketing approach,

C) To enhance the sustainability of the sanitation programme by including aspects such as empowerment of users, gender sensitivity, accountability and good governance.