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Visit of the African Diplomatic Corps Dean to the rural commune of Tanghin-Dassouri (Burkina Faso).

In partnership with the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC) in Ouagadougou, USAID West Africa Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (USAID WA-WASH) will build 40 family latrines in the village of Bazoulé, located in the Rural Commune of Tanghin-Dassouri, Province of Kadiogo, Burkina Faso. In prelude to the inception of the project, H.E.M. Abdelkrim Benchiah, Ambassador of Algeria, representing the ADC in Ouagadougou did a trip to the commune of Tanghin-Dassouri, on Wednesday January 23, 2013. The objective of this trip was to discover the areas where the latrines will be built and get information about sanitation issues in the municipality. The visit included discussions with Tanghin-Dassouri local authorities as well as with Bazoulé’s village development committee. The Algerian Diplomat also visited the multi-family rope pump installed by Winrock International in the village of Oueglega.

 Populated with 55,172 inhabitants, spread out in 28 villages, the rural commune of Tanghin-Dassouri, encounters a critical problem of sanitation that needs to be addressed and significantly improved. Around 95% of the population defecates in open nature. The first support from the Burkinabe Government to build latrines in the commune goes back in 2011. Three hundred and forty latrines were built then. In 2012, seven hundred latrines were built in the commune. Bazoulé, the target village for the project with the African Diplomatic Corps, is among the most insalubrious villages in the commune with a serious lack of household sanitation infrastructures.

 The construction of the latrines is part of the USAID WA-WASH GDA/Partnership approach designed to leverage the investment of the American People in the region by attracting more funding from other sources to better serve the disadvantaged population. The objective of this partnership is to provide access to sanitation facilities to reduce the sanitation and hygiene problems in Bazoulé. The project will be implemented by USAID WA-WASH through a local NGO. The activities include: (1) awareness campaigns and information; (2) training of hygienists; (3) training of masons; (4) launching of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach with the community; (5) construction of 40 latrines; (6) waste and plastic bags collection. The execution period is six months and its cost is estimated at $10,400, of which $5,200 (approximately 2,500,000 CFA) will be contributed by the African Diplomatic Corps.

 The construction of the latrines in Bazoulé is crucial because the population still remember incidents related to the lack of sanitation infrastructures in the village. Rasmata Ouédraogo, a local councilor of Tanghin-Dassouri commune said: “In Bazoulé, a lady once went to defecate in the nature and when she finished easing herself, she realized that she had defecated on a snake. Fortunately, the snake did not bite her. If there were sanitation infrastructures, that incident would not have happened”. Karim Ouédraogo an inhabitant of Bazoulé also added: “My grandfather built a latrine covered with tree branches and mud. Over time, the termites ate the wood and one day, a boy entered the toilet to defecate. Unfortunately the cover of the latrine broke and the boy fell into the latrine. He broke his leg.” Building latrines to Burkina Faso standards is the aim of USAID WA-WASH.

 The First Deputy Mayor of Tanghin-Dassouri, Boniface Nana said “the project is salutary and brings hope to the inhabitants of the commune in general, and for Bazoulé’s population in particular”. He concluded that with the USAID WA-WASH partnership initiative, the rate of access to sanitation will increase in Bazoulé as well as in other villages in the near future.

 The Traditional Chief of Bazoulé expressed his joy for the selection of his village as the intervention area of this project. He therefore exhorted the populations to mobilize themselves for the implementation of the project which benefits children first. "I know that the diplomatic corps will invest a lot of money in this project. So we will make it a success. This is the best way for us to thank the donors”, the Chief said.

 After discovering the realities the population faces in terms of sanitation, H.E. the Ambassador of Algeria promised to advocate in his organization and his country for their contribution in solving the sanitation problems he witnessed in the commune of Tanghin-Dassouri. He also ensured that he will follow the implementation and the evolution of the latrines’ construction project activities.