Promoting quality education together with the communities

In the Brakna Region of Mauritania, the UNICEF Country Office has recently launched a programme which aims to guarantee access to quality education to all children, particular girls, in rural communities. Based on a participatory approach and on the involvement of local communities, this initiative has improved the school environments by providing separate latrines for girls, facilities for hand washing, a safe water supply and solar energy equipment. Another important step was to make the often long route to school safe and for this purpose a school-bus was supplied to each community. After Brakna, the programme is now being extended to the rest of the country through a partnership between UNICEF and the Mauritanian Government.

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Water supply in peri-urban Township of Dar Naïm and El Mina in Nouakchott

This programme, initiated in 1996, aims to increase the supply of household drinking water at the household level and stabilize water prices at an affordable level. The peri-urban township Dar Naïm and El Mina had no water supply system reaching households, which were reliant on individual water sellers charging ten times the normal price for water that was contaminated with chloriform. Water consumption in these neighbourhoods is 10 litres/inhabitant/day, meeting less than 40 per cent of actual needs. The factors that make water supply in these areas both precarious and expensive include: availability, accessibility, organization of the commercial network, and water quality. Based on this assessment, the municipality of Nouakchott and the local administrations, with the support of partners including UNICEF, decided to entirely reorganize the management system of, initially, 25 water fountains. These were selected on the basis of geographical accessibility, water quality, and production capacity. The project has two objectives: to help to control poverty in Nouakchott’s peri-urban neighbourhoods; and ensure access to water that complies with technical, sanitary, social and economic norms to the population. Communities were involved via the women’s’ associations at every stage, using a Rapid Assessment Method (MAP). Project implementation from 1996 to 1999 coincided with the process of the dissemination of the CRC, through parliament, media, NGOs and youth organizations.

The CFC Secretariat has produced an in-dept documentation on this project (see Good Practices section)

Ute Dessenis-Gros
UNICEF – Nouakchott
Ilot K, Parcelle 146/151
Telephone: (2222) 537-60
Fax: (2222) 513-46