Ivory Coast Sustainability Issues

The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Ivory Coast:

  1. Poverty

This low-income country, with 50.9 percent public debt in 2016, has a population estimated at just over 24 million and has a poverty rate of 46.3 percent. One most recent causes of poverty in Côte d’Ivoire is the production of cocoa which is “highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices and to climatic conditions.”  Another cause of poverty in Côte d’Ivoire is the lack of healthcare. Since the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002, there has been a collapse of resources for people with health issues, including HIV/AIDS. Based on 2016 data, the adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is about 2.7 percent, and about 460,000 people are living with the disease. Côte d’Ivoire is also at high risk of other diseases besides HIV/AIDS. 


  1. Water Quality

Over eight million people in Cote d’Ivoire lack access to adequate sanitation facilities, which increases the risk of water-related diseases. Over 4 million people lack access to safe drinking water. These numbers increase in rural areas, where 46 percent of the rural population lacks access to clean water and 87 percent lacks access to sufficient sanitation. First, many communities, especially rural ones, face difficulties not only accessing safe drinking water, but also accessing enough of it. Second, there are many difficulties in accessing sewage infrastructure and proper bathrooms, especially in urban areas. The issue is multi-faceted, and impacts both urban and rural communities in different ways. The above issues increase the risk of transmission of water-borne diseases, such as cholera. Guinea worm was also common, though it was eradicated in 2007. Unsafe drinking water increases child mortality rates. Currently, many children die from diarrhea and similar diseases. Many organizations are addressing the crisis of low water quality in Cote d’Ivoire. Charity Water has funded 190 separate projects in the country and has invested $1,146,687 dollars as of November 2017.


  1. Poor Education and Unemployment

Low completion rates of lower secondary education (35.5%), disparities in learning between girls and boys (the secondary completion rate for girls is 42.7% while for boys, it is 55.5%), maternal mortality (645 deaths per 100,000 live births), infant malnutrition, and youth unemployment (36% of young people between the ages of 15 and 35) are some of the main challenges to the development of Côte d’Ivoire.


  1. Deforestation

Ivorian officials say 99 percent of the park’s 34,000 hectares have been destroyed by cocoa farmers taking advantage of the chaos wrought by a decade-long political crisis in the West African nation. With the years of turmoil over, the government of President Alassane Ouattara is preparing to re-exert state authority by expelling tens of thousands of farmers from parks and reserves in an attempt to save the dwindling forests. Ivory Coast produced 1.2 million tonnes of cocoa in the 2000/01 season, a year before a failed coup attempt sparked a civil war that split the country in half. In the recently ended 2014/15 season, it harvested a record crop of around 1.8 million tonnes, or some 40 percent of world supply.

The FAO estimates that 10.4 million ha, or 32 percent of the land area of Côte d’Ivoire (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2010) is considered as forested area. This area has remained constant since 2004 but has diminished compared with the estimate of 16 million ha in 1960.


  1. Life, Diseases and Sanitation

The life expectancy in Ivory Coast, is one of the lowest in the world at 58 years, and the majority of the country (76 percent) lacks access to improved sanitation facilities. The risk of major infectious diseases is also very high. Communicable diseases account for more than 50 percent of adult deaths and about 80 percent of deaths of children under five years of age.