The Observers

Residents of Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan still lack running water

In the Abobo Té neighbourhood of Abidjan, residents have been experiencing water shortages for several years.
In the Abobo Té neighbourhood of Abidjan, residents have been experiencing water shortages for several years. © Observers

In several neighbourhoods in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan, residents encounter recurrent problems restricting their access to running water. Our Observer lives in the Abobo Té neighbourhood where, despite numerous complaints, running water problems have persisted since 2015. He told us about the difficulties his relatives have to deal with simply to collect water.

Advertising

Residents turn on the taps and nothing comes out. For several years now, the Abobo Té Collective for Access to Potable Water has been alerting their water distribution company, Sodeci (Société de distribution d'eau de la Côte d'Ivoire), of this problem.

Qavani Guy Noël Koné spoke to us on behalf of the collective:

In 2014, in the Abobo Té neighborhood, we had water. The following year, a road was built between Abobo and Angré, the neighboring commune. Since then, there has been no running water in Abobo Té.

The only solution was to install a tap at the meter in front of the houses. Water is available there late at night. In each house, there are reserves of water everywhere. Trucks from the National Office of Potable Water also come by once a week.

About 30 to 40 households are affected in our neighborhood. But the absence of running water concerns different areas of the communes of Abobo, Cocody or Yopougon. These communes are not connected to each other, the only common point I see is that these are areas where working-class people live. This is discriminatory.

We have set up collectives to raise awareness, but nothing changes. Some residents have given up. For them, it has become a routine, something banal. They no longer have the will to solve the problem. Meanwhile, we continue to pay bills to Sodeci while water fails to reach our taps, our showers, our toilets.

Contacted by our team, the Ivorian Ministry of Hydraulics has said they are "working hard to restore the continuity of the service [of water distribution] as soon as possible." They say there are plans for improvements to ensure the regular provision of potable water to 155 Abidjan neighbourhoods over the next two years.