Published on: 26/07/2022
Drinking water, hygiene and sanitation services are equally important. The Tenkodogo municipal authorities decided to develop a Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Master Plan to make drinking water, toilets and good hygiene practices available to all the inhabitants of the district. Even before the plan was finalised, IRC and the Latter-day Saints Charities (LDSC) Foundation decided to support the commune in relieving the urgent needs of the population in this area.
This has led to several extraordinary results. In urban areas, 580 families now have drinking water in their homes through a private ONEA connection. In rural areas, a feasibility study was carried out in 10 villages to upgrade the current hand pumps, which are unable to meet their water needs, to more solid and efficient installations that can serve 2,614 people as soon as they are completed. Through the "Clean Hands, Good Health" campaign, 7,684 pupils now regularly wash their hands with soap and water and are protected from diseases related to dirty hands. Local radio stations were also used to reach as many people as possible. Local authorities and staff were trained to increase their ownership of the process.
As images are a very effective way to show the evidence, a 6-minute video was produced to show the progress. The film shows the main changes observed with lively testimonies from beneficiaries and authorities. Fatimata Oubda describes her satisfaction and relief at being able to get clean water from a tap at home. The chore of fetching water is now a distant memory and she also has more time to take care of her family. Prosper Zombra, principal of Gogare A school in Tenkodogo and Florentine Kouti, teacher at Tenkodogo Centre A school proudly describe the remarkable changes in their students' hand hygiene behaviour. Hamadou Dicko, Secretary General of Tenkodogo, mentioned the good collaboration with all the actors, which has been a considerable asset for obtaining results.
The efforts are considerable and already constitute a success, but there is still a long way to go. 420 vulnerable households are still not connected to the private ONEA network in the urban area, 22614 inhabitants of surrounding villages urgently need drinking water and 168 schools with 29594 pupils are still to be reached in terms of hand hygiene awareness.
The populations' dearest wish is that the actions be extended to all levels for an effective scaling up. According to Albert Koumsongo, Regional Director of Water and Sanitation for the Centre East, this programme must be extended to all the communes of Burkina Faso to boost the access rate.