In Burkina Faso, sustaining hygiene practices in schools

2 July 2021

Photo credit: Dramane Sessouma

To enable Burkinabe students to maintain the good hygiene practices they adopted in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Aide et Action is supporting schools in training children to make artisanal soap.

In response to the health crisis, Aide et Action intervened in two schools in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Via the Children Without Identity project (ESI), implemented in the Cité Avenir school and the municipal high school of Bogodogo, our association provided sanitary kits composed of hand washing devices, hydroalcoholic gel, masks and soap. But our intervention does not stop there.

Maintaining students' health in the long term

This grant has enabled the Cité Avenir school team to introduce good hygiene practices for the pupils beyond the fight against COVID-19. These practices include hand washing before and after meals, hand washing after using the toilets, and cleaning the toilets and classrooms. In order to sustain these practices beyond the crisis and thus preserve the health of the students in the long term, the teaching staff decided to set up a training course for the production of home-made liquid soap. Thanks to Aide et Action's financial support, 13 teachers and 11 students (7 girls and 4 boys) were trained in this technique. 

We asked Aide et Action to help us with the training and the purchase of soap making products because we want to perpetuate the principles of hygiene in the school, explains Martine Zan, the school's director. Now all the teachers are trained and 11 pupils in the fourth grade class. The self-made liquid soap is much cheaper and we are going to use it for hand washing and to maintain the classrooms and toilets. We teach hygiene in class and we want to apply what we teach. ." 

Learning that will be passed on to the younger generation

On 17 June, the students, under the supervision of their teachers, produced liquid soap. " For 20 litres of liquid soap, you need 20 litres of water, 1 kg of salt, 1 kg of Tansagex, ¼ kg of neutraliser, a few grams of perfume and colouring powder "says Bandé Abiba, a pupil of CM1. In 45 minutes, the pupils produced 20 litres of handmade liquid soap with components equivalent to 3250 FCFA, or about 5 euros. 

" I know how to make liquid soap and I'm happy. I explained to my mother and she said that during the holidays I will teach her how to make it "Ouédraogo Yasmine from the team of trained students testifies. 

With the components purchased thanks to the support of Aide et Action, the trained team will produce a sufficient quantity for the needs of the school. And at the beginning of the next school year, the trained students will be in the fifth grade and they will in turn train their cadets to take over. This is a welcome initiative that will make hygiene measures at the school sustainable.

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