With its activities in 2015, the BARKA Foundation has made numerous contributions to the improvement of living conditions of the people of the eastern region of Burkina Faso, which fall within the logic of the SDGs. This is particularly true for the WASH, health and education related SDGs. The foundations two main projects of 2015 – a 5-Village WASH Project, and a Social Arts project which encouraged discussion of the need for clean water and good hygiene through a locally produced theatre play – can serve to highlight some ways in which the SDGs were promoted in BARKA’s work.
The following are two examples of goals and related targets which were directly addressed by BARKA’s activities:
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
– By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
– By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
The play “Water for the Present and the Future” promoted better hygiene and management of water sources in villages and schools. At the play’s dramatic centre lies the death of a young child from acute diarrhoea. The villagers decide to improve their hygiene practices and take better care of their well in reaction to this traumatic event. The play was written in collaboration between BARKA and the theatre specialists from Escape Culturel Gambidi and the involvement of local actors and artists in the writing process ensured that it would reflect the reality and life experiences of the people of Burkina’s eastern region. The play was enthusiastically received by villages and schools alike and commitments were made to improve hygiene and water management practices.
Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
– By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
– By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
– Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
The core activities of the 5-Village WASH Project were the construction of 4 wells in villages of great need in the region and of six blocks of latrines in four schools. The sites of the wells were chosen using the method of Water Accounting: Maps of the partner village’s water points were created and analysed to identify the sites with the greatest need. The participation of local communities and their ownership of the wells was ensured through the training and continued support of village water point committees. Construction of latrines was accompanied by hygiene education for teachers and the donation of hand washing stations to schools. The latrines are all gender specific to ensure that girls will feel comfortable to use them – contributing to the achievement of a target under SDG 5, to “eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training”.