The participative funding campaign entitled “Toilets, a job for the professionals!”, launched in April by GRET and Eau Vive, has reached its target. Thanks to all those who contributed, four small Burkinabe businesses will be able to launch their activity and equip one thousand inhabitants with secure, quality toilets. Marion Santi, sanitation mission manager with GRET, tells us about the main lessons learned from this campaign.
- Why did you launch this participative funding initiative?
The challenges of reaching universal access to hygienic sanitation are huge, and sources of traditional funding are not sufficient to cover needs, whether in terms of access, evacuation or treatment. Yet sanitation is a subject that concerns everyone (try and spend a day without toilets!). GRET proposes a marketing approach in the sector, supporting professionals to provide a quality offer that is affordable for households. Technical innovations make it possible to reduce the price of toilets, but the sector also needs innovation for funding, as prices remain high for vulnerable households. Participative funding therefore seemed an interesting solution for improving households’ access to quality toilets.
- What will the money collected be used for?
It will be used to support four sanitation professionals who produce and sell quality hygienic toilets at affordable prices for rural Burkinabe households. It will make it easier for these professionals to start their businesses by reducing the cost of the toilets for households, thereby ensuring a certain volume of orders and greater notoriety. Households will be able to pay for a quality toilet suited to their needs more quickly, without having to save for several months in advance of purchase. Having reached the 6,000 € target, 1,000 more people will have access to a professional, quality toilet.
- What is the impact of this project for GRET?
This participative funding campaign is a first for GRET, on a subject that is usually taboo. Communicating on toilets was a real challenge! This campaign enabled us to place this subject centre-stage and to promote our approach supporting the private sector in this area. In this rural region of Burkina Faso, access to toilets is very restricted and families often only have two options: use their neighbours’ toilets or, in the vast majority of cases, use the bush or uninhabited houses. These practices are dangerous, especially for young children and older people, who are at risk of being bitten by snakes or scorpions, or of hurting themselves in “traditional” latrines at risk of collapsing. Lastly, there is also unfortunately a real risk of disease spreading via waste water and excreta.