Project 11/12: Orléans (France) – Parakou (Benin)

7 April 2020

For the second time, PLATFORMA has decided to reward the best city-to-city and region-to-region international cooperation projects. Twelve projects have been shortlisted out of 26 applications. Every day, we are presenting one new project (sorted by alphabetical order). This is how the municipality of Orléans in France is presenting its partnership with Parakou in Benin.

“Since 1993, the City Councils of Parakou and Orléans have joined forces as part of a decentralised cooperation and regularly sign three-year partnership agreements, broken down into annual action programmes. The current agreement covering 2019-2021 was signed on the 6th of November 2019 and entails rolling out a programme of 9 actions in 5 areas: sustainable and urban development, promotion of local heritage and tourism, the promotion of the French language and youth, monitoring and evaluation of the action programme 2019-2021/support to local management and health.

Among the actions targeted in the field of sustainable and urban development, the two authorities were keen to press on with an initiative first launched in 2010 entitled “Promoting access to water and sanitation for the population of Parakou through the implementation of ISO standards 24 510, 24 511 and 24 512”. This project is considered a priority by Parakou City Council, since only 39.8% of Parakou’s population has access to water (40% of the population in urban areas and 39.7% of the population in peri-urban areas).

Moreover, in terms of water supply and sanitation management, the municipality of Parakou, Benin’s third largest city, is in charge of municipal programming in the water supply sector (construction, management, monitoring and maintenance of works, training of stakeholders and informing and raising awareness among the population), and the elaboration and adoption of its development plan; this requires capacity building of the water and sanitation sector stakeholders.

Among these stakeholders, sellers of water packaged in sachets, more commonly known as pure water sellers, play a major role in the provision of drinking water to the population. To date, however, this activity was still a so-called informal and unregulated activity. The project presented within the framework of the Platforma Awards sets out to help Parakou City Council and pure waters sellers to formalise the activity and to respect the regulations related to the sector.”

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