Innovative Strategies to Increase Access to Drinking Water in Chad: Focus on Appropriate Technologies and Hygiene Promotion


Guy Tadoum numerongar


Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right and a critical element for sustainable development. However, in Chad, one of the world’s poorest countries, this basic necessity remains elusive for a significant portion of the population. With only 53% of the population having access to basic drinking water and 16% to adequate sanitation services, Chad faces an immense challenge in ensuring universal access to water by 2030, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To address this pressing issue, a multifaceted approach is required, combining innovative technologies, effective hygiene promotion strategies, and a commitment to community engagement. This paper delves into the specific context of Chad, exploring promising strategies to enhance access to drinking water while emphasizing the importance of appropriate technologies and hygiene promotion.

Challenges and Opportunities in Chad

Chad’s journey towards universal water access is hindered by several interconnected challenges, including:

  • Poverty: Financial constraints limit household capacities to afford water access infrastructure and services.
  • Aridity: The country’s arid climate and limited water resources exacerbate the scarcity of potable water.
  • Infrastructure Deficiencies: Insufficient and poorly maintained water supply and sanitation infrastructure further impede access.
  • Inadequate Awareness: Low levels of awareness regarding hygiene practices and water treatment contribute to waterborne diseases.

Despite these challenges, opportunities exist to make significant progress:

  • Technological Advancements: New technologies like membrane filters and solar water disinfection offer cost-effective and accessible water purification solutions.
  • Increased Funding: International initiatives like the SDGs are mobilizing funds to support water and sanitation projects.
  • Institutional Strengthening: Enhancing the capacity of water management institutions can improve water resource governance.
  • Community Empowerment: Active involvement of communities in project design and implementation fosters sustainability.

Innovative Strategies for Enhanced Water Access

  1. Technology-Driven Solutions:a. Membrane Filters: Deploying portable and affordable membrane filters at the household level can provide clean drinking water in remote areas.b. Solar Water Disinfection: Utilizing solar-powered water disinfection systems can eliminate pathogens in water sources without relying on electricity grids.c. Rainwater Harvesting: Promoting rainwater harvesting techniques can supplement water supplies, particularly in arid regions.
  2. Hygiene Promotion and Behavior Change:a. Education and Awareness Campaigns: Implementing targeted education programs to raise awareness about hygiene practices, water treatment, and disease prevention.b. Community-Based Interventions: Engaging community leaders and influencers to promote positive hygiene behaviors and encourage community ownership of water points.c. Infrastructure Design with Hygiene in Mind: Designing water points and sanitation facilities with considerations for hygiene practices and accessibility.

Case Studies in Chad: Putting Innovation into Action

  1. Solar-Powered Water Pumps: In rural Chad, solar-powered water pumps are being installed to provide communities with access to clean water, reducing reliance on traditional, often contaminated, sources.
  2. Community-Led Sanitation Programs: Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) programs are empowering communities to take ownership of their sanitation needs, leading to the construction of latrines and improved hygiene practices.
  3. Mobile Phone-Based Water Information: Mobile phone applications are being developed to provide real-time information on water quality, access points, and sanitation facilities.


Achieving universal access to safe drinking water in Chad requires a concerted effort that embraces innovative technologies, promotes effective hygiene practices, and empowers communities. By addressing the underlying challenges and seizing the available opportunities, Chad can make significant strides towards ensuring this fundamental right for all its citizens. As the country continues on this journey, international collaboration, knowledge sharing, and financial support will play a crucial role in accelerating progress and realizing the vision of a water-secure Chad.

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