A variation of Green Cross’ Smart Water for Green Schools project, supported by funding from the Fred Foundation, is helping women develop sustainable businesses in Côte d’Ivoire.
The project, first initiated in 2014, was carried out in Béago, located in Côte d’Ivoire’s Yopougon municipality, by Green Cross Côte d’Ivoire. Alongside a school project supplying students with a well, rainwater harvesting system and four ecological latrines, the innovative livelihood initiative helped 20 women become financially independent.
The Project helped an association of marginalized women set up income generating activities, improving their ability to support themselves. They are now operating a soil-less agriculture, or hydroponic, garden that grows plants in water containing dissolved nutrients. The group has chosen to grow tomatoes for local sale.
They benefit from training by professional experts – on both the technical and business aspects of their enterprise – and a management committee has been established.
The initiative uses eco-friendly methods, including harvesting material from the latrines installed as part of the school water project to make fertiliser.