Housing poverty in Côte d'Ivoire

  • 62,315 people served in FY18 62,315 people served in FY18
  • 5,630 volunteers hosted in FY18 5,630 volunteers hosted in FY18
  • Projects: Homes for vulnerable groups (inc. orphans), water and sanitation Projects: Homes for vulnerable groups (inc. orphans), water and sanitation

Established in 1999, our local office seeks to break the cycle of poverty in Côte d’Ivoire by working with homeowners to provide safe, dry and secure homes, with decent sanitation.

Among the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee and palm oil, Côte d’Ivoire once boasted the strongest economy in West Africa. Now, due to a devastating civil war and global economic pressure since 2002, the country contends with extreme poverty and its exhausted infrastructure struggles to meet the growing needs of the people. In the city of Abidjan alone, the housing deficit is estimated to be 20,000 houses per year.

The housing need

Urbanisation is adding to the problem, with almost half of the growing population now living in towns or cities. The cumulative deficit is estimated at more than 1,000,000 units in 2012. In rural areas, the need is also immense.

Many people live in temporary structures, which require extensive upkeep and repair and are vulnerable to fire. Walls are typically made of mud in a wooden frame and often crack, causing leaks and eventually falling apart.

Improper housing

Thatch-roof houses harbour numerous disease-carrying insects, such as malarial mosquitoes and the tsetse fly, which can spread eye disease. With so many people living in poverty, substandard housing is an overwhelming challenge. Most families live in traditional homes made of mud walls and thatch roofs or inadequately constructed brick houses.

Habitat homes for families in need

Our local team builds houses using appropriate technology and local building materials. The houses are made of brick and mortar, with corrugated iron roofing sheets. The designs are simple and spacious and cater to the individual families’ needs, while remaining affordable for the homeowners.

Houses consist of either two or three bedrooms and a hall. Smaller houses are currently planned, in order to reach families on the lowest income groups.

Overcrowding is an issue in most thatch-roof houses, and lack of natural light and ventilation causes further illnesses and problems (e.g. studying).

Current projects to alleviate poverty in Côte d´Ivoire

The Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission (GOAC) funds will improve the health and living conditions of 8,400 extremely poor individuals…

The Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission (GOAC) funds will improve the health and living conditions of 8,400 extremely poor individuals in 3 regions (Centre, North and East). The overall objective is to increase access to sustainable and affordable sanitation and hygiene services for vulnerable populations. The specific activities of the project include:

  • Rehabilitation of 30 water pumps for hundreds of families
  • Rehabilitation of 45 latrines to prevent the spread of diseases within communities
  • Training of 3,000 individuals
  • Distribution of 4,000 hygiene kit.

We will implement the project in partnership with the local authorities, the municipalities, the local health district and INHP (government agent for water quality testing) at a cost of £40,000. Read an update about the project on the impact of water pumps and toilets on poverty in Côte d’Ivoire.

clean water pump cote d'ivoire charity

Investing in water & sanitation

The project will target rural communities and help promote hygiene and water points rehabilitation. Our team works on rehabilitating 100 water pumps per year to increase access of an estimated 5,600 families to a safe water supply.

Key facts & figures

  • Population: 28.7 million
  • Urbanisation: 52.7% live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 62.26 years
  • Unemployment rate: 9.4%
  • Population living below poverty line: 39.5%


Housing orphans

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This project helps protect the inheritance rights and improve the living conditions of families through housing and related support services. HFH Côte d’Ivoire together with its implementing partners provide housing and pit latrines, trainings on inheritance rights and will writing as well as and hygiene promotion.

Through this project, HFH seek to change the attitude of community members by mobilizing community leaders, other NGOs and CBOs operating in the community to help uphold the rights of women and children.

Financial education

The project aims to develop financial skills of youths and women-headed household. The training will target families struggling to make ends meet and families prepared to grow to help them to manage their revenue and to empower them to take care of their family.

The training aims to empower participants with knowledge on market research, budgeting, savings and credit through a series of workshops. If necessary, local languages can be used.

Helping the blind

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In the target communities, blind persons earn less than $40 per month. To survive, they are often assisted by their relatives. Families typically live in mud houses or crumbling old structures. To improve living conditions of individuals affected by river blindness,

Our team Côte d’Ivoire proposes a project that targets communities in the central region. The intervention includes the construction and rehabilitation of safe and healthy houses.