A holistic approach delivers far more to villages in Cameroon

Case study

Guinness has a big presence in Cameroon – and we see ourselves as both part of and an important contributor to local communities. Our Water of Life programme has already brought clean water to a number of communities in Cameroon, and this year we brought it to 15,000 people living in and around the villages of Moinam and Marouar. But this latest programme has gone much further than just clean drinking water.

Bringing together the core themes of all our community programmes – WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), skills development and women’s empowerment – into one holistic approach can achieve far more than a single programme on its own. So, in these two villages, as well as installing borehole wells with manual pumps to provide safe drinking water, we invested in awareness sessions about child labour and positive drinking, and encouraged women to take part in a hygiene session. This session covered menstrual hygiene and, as part of it, we distributed reusable sanitary towels to the girls and young women. Lack of access to sanitary products is a big factor in preventing girls getting an education and women entering employment, so this kind of educational effort is fundamental to women’s empowerment.

In May, the community held an official handover ceremony, marking the completion of the project, attended by Andrew Ross, Managing Director of Guinness Cameroun and Astrid Bembone, Regional Sales Manager, Center Region. Ndinga Guiwa Jeremie, Chief of Moinam village, expressed the community’s gratitude for Diageo’s investment, commenting that the clean water had eradicated water-borne diseases, while the awareness programme around positive drinking had helped people make better choices.