Rethink, Refill, Recycle

Limited Editions

La bouche rouge collaboration with Eau Vive Internationale association in Togo
La bouche rouge collaboration with Eau Vive Internationale association in Togo

Redistribution

Since its inception, La bouche rouge has upheld a deeply rooted conviction: it is not only once succeeding that we should share; on the contrary, it is by sharing that we will succeed. The Maison’s performance is thus guided by its commitment. For each lipstick sold, La bouche rouge donates the equivalent of 100 liters of drinkable water to the Eau Vive Internationale association, supporting a program dedicated to children in the Kemerida region in Togo.

Drinkable water

As a shortage of water is one of the primary causes of infant mortality today, we support Eau Vive Internationale. For each lipstick sold, we supply 100 liters of safe drinking water to the association.

The Eau Vive project

The Eau Vive project in northern Togo is implemented in 25 villages in 10 cantons in the prefectures of Kozah and Binah. Drinking water services target 5,500 individuals whilst sanitation facilities benefit 4,500 people and 2,100 students.

Construct and maintain

We are involved in the construction of a drinking water well and hygiene infrastructure for school children, who are learning how to use it. The Hilou borehole provides access to drinking water for 1,200 villagers who have learned how to properly maintain it.

Our visit to Togo

On the 6th of April 2019, our team flew to Togo. Nicolas Gerlier, founder of the Maison, was accompanied by models and ambassadors, Mélodie Vaxelaire and Louise Follain, who contributed to the project through the sale of their "Folie" colour shade, along with photographer Ulrich Knoblauch.

Togo is one of the countries within the Gulf of Guinea that covers an area of 56,790 km2 with a total population of 8,608,444 inhabitants (2020)[1] and a density of 152 inhabitants/km.2 It borders Benin and Ghana, to the east and west, respectively, while at its north is Burkina Faso, which constitutes its buffer with the Sahel Strip. The country’s southern part has an opening onto the Atlantic Ocean. 

Under the “NOTSE EPHA+” project, supported by Eau Vive Togo and Eau Vive Pau-Pyrénées in France, with the assistance of Eau Vive Internationale, the goal is to reinforce the foundations of governance in terms of local management of drinking water services and sanitation infrastructures, all while improving service coverage throughout the 4 territories. This translates into the instatement of drinking water structures and an infrastructure system that is coherent with the planning of the Major Project supported by the European Union.

The sub-project also aims to accompany the communes in adopting a participative, inclusive vision of territorial development, thanks to the training and exchanges between actors and communities.  It will provide the inter-communal, promotional tools between the 4 communes of Haho, as well as the communes and partners in the north (Europe), and even the communes of the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso and Benin.

1.     Background and rationale

Togo is one of the countries within the Gulf of Guinea that covers an area of 56,790 km2 with a total population of 8,608,444 inhabitants (2020)[1] and a density of 152 inhabitants/km.2 It borders Benin and Ghana, to the east and west, respectively, while at its north is Burkina Faso, which constitutes its buffer with the Sahel Strip. The country’s southern part has an opening onto the Atlantic Ocean. 

The geographic and climatic profile provide the country with economic perspectives of a diversified, leveraged potential including agricultural production and breeding in all seasons, if we consider the national territory in its entirety. Furthermore, trade and exchanges with the inland countries of West Africa (Burkina, Mali, Nigeria) are well-developed thanks to port operations leaving from the Port of Lome, the capital.

With over 80% of its population being rural, agriculture and breeding occupy a large portion of this population and contribute to nearly 40% of the national GDP. The fully functioning rural communes that represent the local level in the overall mechanism to stimulate local development came to fruition 2 years ago with the country’s first local elections. The option for national public policies and development partners in accompanying them in their mission is completely justified in light of the development risks and challenges faced by local actors. Under these, supply and access to basic social services including drinking water and sanitation (among many others) provide local government with progressive learning in connection with the prerogatives assigned by the decentralization process.

As such, at the political-administrative level, Togo is sub-divided into 5 regions comprised of 39 prefectures and 117 communes. This administrative physiognomy, which was defined in 2018, increased the number of communes from 22 to 117. On June 30, 2019, the municipal elections permitted the municipal executive bodies to have an elected official. They thereby constitute a key intermediary in institutional anchoring and thereby help ensure that the citizens’ desires are taken into consideration when managing their development.

In advancing this process with regards to the goals for decentralization, in light of these new prerogatives, the Togolese State and its partners support the collectivities through the concretized cooperation programs in the development programs and projects. At the head of these is the Improvement Project of Urban Governance and Social Opening in the Haho 1, Haho 2, Haho 3, Haho 4 communes in the Haho Prefecture of Togo.

In effect, just as the other communes of the country, these 4 communes of the Haho Prefecture have had newly elected, governing bodies since October 2019, which tend to community life in this space. A diagnostic completed on these 4 territories revealed the following elements:

§ at the head of governance and management of local development:

- the absence of planning documents in 3 of the 4 communes, as well as the lack of development plans and urbanization plans across the 4 communes;

- the beginning of social mobilization dynamics, consultation and accountability of accounts in one commune (Haho 1) characterized by the instatement of a communal development committee and a quadrilogue;

- the underrepresentation of women and youth in times of decision-making and consultation: women represent 13% of the city council and 20% of the quadrilogue body in place in Haho 1;

- a weakness in the organization of the Togolese Civil Society Organizations (OSC), leading to their weak implication in the Control of Public Action;

- a lack of awareness on the part of the new communal authorities regarding financing opportunities and development approaches such as the human rights-based approach (AFDH), social inclusivity, gender, climate-sensitive approaches, Sustainable Development Objectives (ODD), etc.

Given the recent establishment of these communes and their elected bodies, leading and managing these local affairs is a true challenge to overcome in supporting these communes.

§ with regards to social measures

The current situation indicates the following regarding access to drinking water and sanitation:

- a relatively low level of access: 24% for drinking water and 15% for sanitation in the entirety of the 4 Haho communes.

- the projects that have been put in place until this point offer relatively little facilitated access to these services for the poor and vulnerable populations who rely on these water points, like the public fountain where water costs four times more than the price of water applied to this social segment. Due to lack of alternatives, over 40% of households continue to use sources that are unsuitable for consumption. In the absence of water purification structures and lack of awareness regarding the risk of fecal contamination, open defecation is widespread in the communes.

- illnesses linked to water and sanitation represent 50 to 61% of consultations in health facilities in the Haho Prefecture.(c) Waste management remains problematic.

These indicators are particularly challenging if we consider the importance of access to drinking water and sanitation as vital needs, as well as priority areas for action for the state, both in terms of its national development plan, as well as its objectives for sustainable development.

In response to these local problems, the 4 communes of Haho began a project supported by the Bapaume commune of France and the European Commission entitled “Improvement of urban governance and social opening in the Haho 1, Haho 2, Haho 3 and Haho 4 communes.” A total of 3,985,644 EUR, will be put to use over the course of 4 years (2021-2025).

Together with this initiative, Eau Vive Togo and its partners (Eau Vive Pau-Pyrénées in France and Eau Vive Internationale), in adhering to the Partnership Framework Agreement established with the 4 communes of Haho, accompany the 4 communes in their technical and financial plan to implement these initiatives.

Under the “NOTSE EPHA+” project, supported by Eau Vive Togo and Eau Vive Pau-Pyrénées in France, with the assistance of Eau Vive Internationale, the goal is to reinforce the foundations of governance in terms of local management of drinking water services and sanitation infrastructures, all while improving service coverage throughout the 4 territories. This translates into the instatement of drinking water structures and an infrastructure system that is coherent with the planning of the Major Project supported by the European Union. The sub-project also aims to accompany the communes in adopting a participative, inclusive vision of territorial development, thanks to the training and exchanges between actors and communities.  It will provide the inter-communal, promotional tools between the 4 communes of Haho, as well as the communes and partners in the north (Europe), and even the communes of the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso and Benin.

With regards to “social openness,” the sub-project aims to improve access to drinking water and sanitation for those who are most vulnerable thanks to infrastructures and efforts to facilitate access to these services, the implementation of toilets for female and male students in schools that are most in need, notably in peripheral areas of the 4 communes.

In addition, the sub-project integrates actions to promote hygiene and preventative measures, as well as other necessary provisions in terms of practices that efficiently, sustainably help fight COVID-19.

The sub-project is aligned with the national policies of the National Development Plan adopted by Togo in 2018, in which axis 3 plays a large role in social openness. Finally, it fits with the Sustainable Development Objectives, notably ODD6.

Procedures of the sub-project will be organized with those that comprise the Global Project supported by the European Union and the Bapaume Commune in France. In this way, it will facilitate or complete its execution.

Its arrangement will take into consideration the need to integrate the different levels of governance (local, national), the other actors of the territorial governance such as civil society, the private sector, as well as diverse partnerships. It will thus contribute to the integrated urban and rural development.

2.     Target groups and geographic coverage

2.1 Targets or direct beneficiaries 

These are:

- elected officials, including members of the commission in charge of Drinking Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Supply (AEPHA): 60 members of the city councils of Togo and 900 members of the Committees dedicated to the development of localities or villages within the communes: Their technical capacities to manage provisions of tools to provide drinking water and sanitation;

- the associations of youth and women in the 4 communes identified by the communal authorities. Their capacities will be strengthened through actions that increase awareness and training on the organization and maintenance of water and hygiene services. They can participate in the control of public action and facilitation of access to drinking water and sanitation services (SEA);

- households of the target population will be able to benefit from essential services through the facilitation of access to drinking water and sanitation plants;

- students and teachers of at least 10 schools (EPP).

2.2 Financial beneficiaries

The financial beneficiaries constitute the totality of the 4 communes’ populations, estimated at 311,000 inhabitants, for whom access to essential services remains poor.

La bouche rouge stands for "red lips" in French but also for having a voice, striking a message.