What is the outcome of the "Elephant Memory" project in Burkina Faso?
After the Gourma province, our elephants went to 25 schools in the provinces of Gnagna and Komondjari in Burkina Faso in 2020. 5 months after the installation of playful hand-washing devices in schools, it is time to take stock of this project called Luomo. The result is clear: all the beneficiary schools have seen an increase and improvement in handwashing practices.
Accessible, easy and fun, the devices have been a great success with students and teachers alike, as shown by Mr. Compaoré LassanéDirector of the Pantaloana School:
"The adventure was beautiful... We spent together in beauty a term rich in hygiene, in colors, harmonious collaboration through this project... Congratulations to PE&D and to all the prize-winning schools... In short, it is everyone who comes out a winner through LUOMO "
To analyze the impact of this system, we worked with teachers to have them record their observations of handwashing practices on a daily observation sheet. Secondly, we asked schools to regularly record the quantities of water and soap used by students. The teachers were able to collect all the data that led us to this observation via a digital application we installed:
ABefore the nudge (lambda devices), 49% of students wash their hands before/after meals and 51% after using the toilet. After the nudge (painting, drawing, mirrors, etc.), 76% of students wash their hands before/after meals and 71% after using the toilet.
That's 27 points more before/after eating and 20 points more after using the bathroom. To achieve this success, we had to involve all members of the school in the program and work with the students to make them aware of the importance of handwashing. While a traditional method might not have had much impact on the children's behavior, we chose to use games to make this routine a part of their lives.
After installing the devices which were adapted according to the size of the school (mobile or fixed), we provided all the materials necessary for their proper functioning such as soap but also the elements that would be used to decorate the tools. To get the kids more involved, we let them customize each device. The goal was to have each drum look like an elephant pouring water. Before leaving, we distributed manuals reproducing the device and posters raising awareness about handwashing. At the end of the project, 4 schools distinguished themselves by their creativity and we rewarded them with new hygiene and sanitation materials.
In total, this project involved more than 10,360 children from 25 schools in the eastern region of Burkina Faso. We hope to reach even more schoolchildren to ensure that handwashing becomes a permanent part of their routine. Diseases transmitted by hand contact remain a major cause of human morbidity and mortality. Each year, approximately 1.3 million people die from diarrheal diseases.
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May 27, 2021