Central African Republic: Celebration of World Toilet Day

On 18 November 2022, Première Urgence Internationale celebrated World Toilet Day with the inhabitants of the village of Yangoubrindji (Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture, Central African Republic). This year’s global theme was “Groundwater and Sanitation”, with the slogan “making the invisible visible”.

WASH facilitator sensitizing the public to the key messages of World Toilet Day / Yangoubrindji, Bamingui-Bangoran

The celebrations took place thanks to support of the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency).

The day was marked by speeches from the Mayor of the Yangoubrindji village, the Prefect of Bamingui-Bangoran and Première Urgence Internationale‘s Field Coordinator, as well as a skit raising awareness of toilet use and a quiz on good hygiene practices. Then the speakers spoke in French and Sango so that everyone could understand the messages.

These activities allowed the audience to learn about the objectives of World Toilet Day and to pass on key messages, such as the importance for each household to have a latrine and the various diseases linked to lack of hygiene.

Forty (40) community leaders attended the celebration, including 31 men and 9 women, notably the prefect of Bamingui Bangoran, the mayor of Mbollo-Pkata, a representative of the Health District, the academic inspector of Bamingui-Bangoran, the representative of the National Water and Sanitation Agency, women’s representatives, youth representatives, leaders of religious denominations and chiefs of the surrounding villages of Yangoubrindji: Mbollo, Ngoussoua-Trofai, Yafo, Vongba, Kilibiti, Yangouberlo, Takara and Koutchoukako. Media coverage was provided by the community radio station “Ndélé Pas Loin” through the broadcasting of awareness-raising messages on the theme of this day, developed jointly by PUI, the Health District and the National Water and Sanitation Agency.

This celebration mobilised a total of 380 people from the communities of Yangoubrindji and surrounding villages, including 150 women, 80 men, 90 girls and 60 boys.

Raising awareness through a skit

The theatre group “Les perroquets de la Bamingui Bangoran” (The Parrots of Bamingui-Bangoran in French) presented a comic skit mixing humour, comedy, entertainment, and key messages about latrine use, to the delight of the audience. The play featured two families: the mother of the first family, not having a family latrine at home, goes to use the neighbours’ latrine. She is surprised by the father of the second family, who accuses her of witchcraft. The situation leads to a trial arbitrated by the village chief. His verdict exonerates the mother of the first family and highlights the importance of using latrines and the consequences; (illness, work interruption, etc.) of open-air defecation. The show ended with a standing ovation from the audience.

Quiz (Q&A)

The level of acquisition of the messages delivered to the participants was assessed through quizzes.

A series of questions were asked around the theme of the day such as:

  •  What are the consequences of open defecation?
  • Or what are the consequences on the water table of a traditional latrine pit that is very deep?
  • What are the waterborne diseases?

At the end of these competitions, gifts consisting of plastic buckets, basins, cans, soap, detergent; were distributed to the participants. In total, there were 30 winners, 12 men and 18 women, and 30 losers, 15 men and 15 women. Both winners and losers received kits. Overall, the day was very much appreciated by the participants.

Distribution of WASH kits  by the Prefect of Bamingui-Bangoran to a winner of the quizz

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