Burkina Faso: Launch of the campaign “Clean Hands to fight COVID19” for 71,000 inhabitants of the Centre-Nord and Hauts-Bassins regions
Picture caption: EPGF technician testing a foot-operated hand washing station to be installed near a standpipe managed by VERGNET BURKINA (photo credits: EPGF).
Stop the spread of the pandemic using the most efficient method currently known for rural areas of Africa: hand washing with soap
As suppliers of innovative and sustainable services for drinking water in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, UDUMA and VERGNET BURKINA (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) are committed to protecting their users and their teams and are helping in the fight against the pandemic by launching the campaign “Clean hands to fight COVID19” for 71,000 users in Burkina Faso. “We will provide a foot-operated hand washing station and soap for the users of 80 UDUMA standpipes in the Centre-Nord and Haut-Bassins regions and we are funding this ourselves,” states Jean-Christophe KI, Managing Director of the company VERGNET BURKINA, which supplies UDUMA services in Burkina Faso.
This campaign, as well as the requirement for the pump operator to wear a mask and social distancing rules implemented at the water distribution point, aims to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic using the most efficient method currently known for rural areas of Africa: hand washing with soap. A campaign that is all the more important in light of the study Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017 (Joint Monitoring Programme, UNICEF, OMS, 2019) which found that 92% of inhabitants in rural areas of Burkina Faso do not have soap and water at home to wash their hands.
A 100% “made in burkina” campaign to support the local economy
VERGNET BURKINA and UDUMA have agreed to provide all the funding necessary to cover the equipment and running (soap, water, maintenance, etc.) costs for as long as possible. This campaign “Clean Hands to fight COVID19” will therefore have no impact on the price of the water services that had previously been agreed with the national and local authorities. “We will even provide a foot-operated hand washing station for each of the 9 communes that will be part of this pilot scheme, to help them overcome this terrible health crisis,” assures Lucie KABORE, Operations Manager at VERGNET BURKINA.
The “Clean Hands to fight COVID19” campaign is 100% “Made in Burkina”. The foot-operated hand washing stations are produced by EPGF (Ouagadougou), the masks are made by the Ouagadougou-based company ANGE CONFECTION using traditional Burkina Faso woven cotton cloth known as Faso Dan Fani, and the soap is produced by local factories. “We are particularly committed to supporting the national economy at the moment, given how much it has been affected by the health crisis” specifies Jean-Christophe KI.
Call for ideas to extend the campaign to benefit all users of the UDUMA services
“We need water now more than ever to be able to provide sanitation and hygienic conditions to protect against the virus. We are lucky to have a local operational team; we owe it to them to do our part. Thanks to everyone’s support, this campaign is likely to be rapidly extended to benefit all 208,000 UDUMA users in Burkina Faso, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire,” adds Mikael DUPUIS, Deputy Managing Director of UDUMA. “We are reaching out to experts, industrial partners, financial institutions etc. who wish to contribute to the project.”