In 1989 Oxfam approached the town council of N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, Africa, and set up a joint project to encourage community participation in improving sanitary conditions in Ambassatna. The author highlights the main problems and lessons to be learned from the project, three years into it, including issues around neglecting the role of women and their involvement in local committee structures. The nature of voluntary work in an urban environment is discussed in relation to the impact of the project, which is felt by the community to be a success but is a limited success by Oxfam’s criteria.
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