Eastern region of Burkina Faso creates ripples of change


“There is no more open defecation since sensitisation by SNV. Now our CLTS Committee continues the sensitisation inside the village. We organise every two weeks to clean our latrines and pumps,” says Lompo Boukary of the community’s achievements at the municipality of Diapangou, village of Bianargou.

Villager accounts from the eastern region of Burkina Faso are now showing promising signs of positive sanitation and hygiene behaviour, ownership, and a conviction to sustain new behaviours.

Issaka Natama from Tibga village states that "sensitisation has been useful because we are now protected from many diseases. We want to keep all these good behaviours for us, and the future generation."

Says Souguilipo Thiombiano from Kompienga village, "After the sensitisation by SNV, we have done our latrines with local materials without any contributions."

Champion of positive sanitation and hygiene behaviour.

Behaviour change training in action.

In a country where access rate to sanitation in rural areas is 13.4 per cent, ending open defecation is a development priority of the Government of Burkina Faso. By 2020, the Government of Burkina has pledged to achieve 79% toilet coverage (National Plan for Economic Social Development), and full coverage by the end of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The eastern region’s experience in harnessing community-led initiatives therefore provides an excellent model to learn from, and to inform the design of a scalable sanitation and hygiene roadmap for nationwide implementation.

From ripples of change to waves of transformation

How to generate waves of transformation from the ripples of change within the eastern region were among the key points shared by SNV during the Third National Forum on Water and Sanitation, organised by the Government of Burkina Faso last 1-3 February 2018.

Aminata Konkobo (SNV WASH Sector Manager in Burkina Faso) highlighted the importance of long-term behavior change communication activities and initiatives. According to Aminata, "CLTS, in the context of Burkina Faso, may well be key to boosting sanitation access in rural areas, and reducing inequalities."

Aminata: CLTS is key in boosting sanitation access in rural Burkina.

SNV partner, Mougabe Koslengar (Specialist, UNICEF Burkina Faso) drew the audience’s attention to opportunities lost when the capacity of communities to take actions themselves are underestimated: in this case, the capacity to influence positive behaviours, and build sanitation facilities devoid of government subsidies.

Mougabe: opportunities are lost when we underestimate community capacity.

In the discussions that ensued, the pilot ATPC project’s experience in the eastern and west center regions helped lay the ground for an official forum recommendation to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation – that is, to take a formal decision on nationwide implementation of the CLTS approach.