The Right to Shelter & Sanitation is a Fundamental Human Right

January 15 to September 15, 2021

The CEPROCUL-SELAVIP Shelter & Sanitation project for 2021 - “Crossing the Sheltation Gap”

- was officially launched on February 27, 2021 at the premises of the Congrégation de Mission Scolasticat Saint Vincent de Paul of Béatitudes, Yaounde 7 Sub Division in the presence of relevant local stakeholders. The project is a humanitarian outreach intended to build environmentally, socially, culturally and economically sustainable low-cost “basic shelter” or blocks of toilets for 45 pilot needy households in selected quarters of Yaounde 7 (Centre Region, Cameroon) with the goal to raising awareness about the housing rights of the vulnerable. The project also promotes the use of local building materials like wood, quarry sand, Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB) typical to this community.

The project is under the auspices of the Ministries of Social Affairs, (MINAS), of housing and Urban Development (MINHDU), of Environment, Nature Protection & Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), the Divisional Officer for Yaounde 7, CENCOM2000 International, the National Commission on Human Rights & Freedoms (NCHRF/CNDHL), the Local Materials Promotion Authority (MIPROMALO), the Yaounde 7 Council, and traditional authorities. Apart from the pilot construction in cognizance with SPHERE standards, also featuring in this year’s project are:

-         A 2-day vocational training workshop on local materialsfor beneficiaries, builders, bricklayers, apprentices, NGOs, associations, and career seekers to build capacities and provide new potentials for livelihood improvement. Partner experts from MIPROMALO, MINHDU and MINEPDED animated the workshop that took place on the 26 and 27 of February.Day 1 focused on indoor theoretical Framework/context of the Project and outdoor production of samples of Bloc de terre compressé (BTC) / Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB) and Bloc de terre stabilizé (BTS) / Stabilized Earth blocks (SEB) while Day 2 was mainly a demonstration of building with BTC/CEB and BTS/SEB blocks. Representing the various partner institutions at the launch and the vocational training workshop were:

  • Mr Sebastein MONGET, Engineer, MIPROMALO;
  • Mr GOLLE Pascal, Deputy Director of Sensitization and Environmental Education, MINEPDED;
  • Mr ASSOA Benjamin Jr, SRHA, Regional Delegation of MINHDU/CE;
  • Ms NDI AMOUGUI Marie Claude, SRHA, Regional Delegation of MINHDU/CE;
  • HRM OMGBA Ernest, Traditional authority, Yaounde 7;
  • Mr DZOU Remy, Notable;
  • Mr NGOMO Hubert, notable;
  • Ms BEKONO épse MINKOULOU, Community representative;
  • Mr Daniel HEUNGA, President, Association of Handicap Persons, Mvog-Betsi;
  • Mr KENGNI T. Daniel, President, ANAUMIC Association.

-         A special feature: the celebration of the life of Fr JOSSE van de Rest (founder of SELAVIP Foundation) for his service to humanity. Apart from the minute of silence and the eulogy presented in his honor at theopening ceremony, his effigies are displayed in our Yaounde office, at least, for the duration of this project and a documentary on his life and works released by SELAVIP Foundation is projected at important CEPROCUL events during this and future SELAVIP-CEPROCUL project seasons.

-         Raising awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting state and WHO-designed barrier measures as spelt out in the Yaounde 7 Divisional Officer’s authorization note.

-         Advocacy for the rights and dignity of at-risk urban dwellers in shelter, sanitation, health security, and land tenure, on account of the principle that “Everyone has the right to adequate housing” (UDHR & IHRL) – a right “essential for human survival and dignity and [which] state and non-state actors have the responsibility to fulfill” (Sphere, 2018, p.95). This objective is being accomplished through community talks, presentations, brochures and other gadgets. By this, we hope to obtain from community leaders & power-wielders a change of attitude towards these vulnerable people in dire need. The relevance of such conscientization is discernible in the NCHRF/CNDHL’s lead role and usual featuring of our action in her United Nations’ Human Rights Universal Periodic Review Report.

-         Advocacy for healthy environment around homes through the planting of flowers, trees and greenery for protection and for boosting biodiversity. This is in line with SPHERE’s “Thematic Sheet: Disaster Risk Reduction”, Version 3 forthcoming, in which she underpins the validity of “planting trees and plants for natural protection against wind and water, and creating protective barriers against landslides”. We rely on expertise from MINEPDED to attain this objective.

With SELAVIP funding as well as the support of local authorities and other partners, 45 pilot vulnerable city dwellers are having their sheltation difficulties minimized thus crossing them over from privation to ownership. The constructed blocks of toilets will tremendously lessen disease spread, mitigate gender-related anxieties and build the people’s resilience, self-reliance, and their disaster risk reduction (DRR) capacities. Through our action, local SMEs & SMIs experience a boom and some families involved in the building process have jobs on the project and poverty is alleviated to a tremendous extent. Furthermore, our rights-awareness and Covid-19 crusade is paying off.

Tambu Mba’, Ph.D., PMP


Yaounde, Cameroon

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Ministry of Social Affairs

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education

Ministry of Public Works

BATIBO Council

UNESCO Yaounde



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