Health – Women – Environment Action in Dalifort


Dalifort is a typical spontaneous and irregular district. Its 7,100 inhabitants are distributed over 1,297 households, 920 families are tenants and 377 are “owners”. The latter only own their buildings and not the land, which they occupy illegally. The land belonged to private owners. In 1987, the Dalifort site became State property. In 1988, a pilot project was launched, aimed at improving standards of living and regulating land tenure for occupation of the district. Dalifort was a true shanty town – indeed a shack town, since at least 95% of the structures were shacks – with appalling levels of insalubrity.

The DUA/GTZ Project entitled “Restructuring Spontaneous Housing” established the objective of providing the inhabitants of the shanty towns with security of land tenure and a health environment: environmental protection is a priority, particularly in terms of drainage and health. The inhabitants take active part in decision making and the development of public works, and also pay part of the cost of the parcels of land subsequent to development.

Alongside the many schemes carried out by the DGU/GTZ Project, an Action for Health-Women-Environment (SANDAL) was created and entrusted to the RUP (Link for Participative Urban Development) team of ENDA TM (Third World Environmental and Development) between 1988 and 1990.

Action SANDAL’s objective was to ensure the long-term incorporation of women into community activities and the project for “Restructuring Spontaneous Housings”.

The RUP Team of ENDA TM set up a committee of women associated with planning, decision making and carrying out activities related to information, consciousness-raising, education, and assistance in questions of hygiene, nutrition and health.

This Committee worked with the support of ENDA TM, in collaboration with the health technicians of the Dalifort dispensary.

Results obtained

  • The provision of 15 stand-pipes with faucets. The faucet makes it possible to avoid common pollution hazards, The establishment of a wagon for garbage collection. This experiment came to halt when the containers belonging to SIAS (the company responsible for cleaning in Dakar) were removed. Nonetheless, this experiment has been introduced with greater success in many popular districts of Rufisque since 1991.

  • Five hundred fruit and shade trees were planted.

  • Women’s knowledge about hygiene and vaccination, nutrition, environmental relationships, and health hazards has been improved.

  • The environmental training of twenty young boys and girls who carry out consciousnessraising through theater.

The subjects dealt with include: child hygiene, domestic hygiene, the battle against the fecal peril and against garbage and liquid waste, combating (prevention and care) microbial infections and parasitosis, particularly malaria, nutritional education (nutrition) of children and pregnant women and general dietary variation).

– Increase in respect for the women on the committee.
– Deepening of democracy, to the benefit of the women.