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Burkina Faso: Innovative mechanism for community financing of sanitation

Balwant Godara, Technical Advisor, SWA
14 Nov 2019

"Nuits de l’Assainissement" - nights for sanitation wherein community members, opinion leaders, and local authorities come together for a common goal: improving sanitation and hygiene conditions in the region. These nights are organized by the Regional Directorates of water and sanitation in collaboration with the Directorate general of Sanitation and a partner NGO. Sanitation night is part of the innovative Leader-led Total Sanitation (LLTS) approach.

LLTS was developed by the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Ministry in Burkina Faso with the support of WaterAid in 2012. It aims to encourage leaders in Burkina Faso to support the populations in designing local responses to hygiene and sanitation challenges in their villages of origins or other villages of their choice. This initiative contributes to Government’s National Economic and Social Development Plan (Plan National de Développement Économique et Social, PNDES 2016 – 2020), especially to one of its strategic objectives to “improve living conditions, access to quality water, sanitation and energy services”. LLTS uses the tools of advocacy, community mobilization through gala fundraising evenings (e.g. SaniThon) and sensitization through targeted messaging. The Sanitation Nights have the following specific objectives:

  • Increase the level of knowledge and involvement of regional populations and leaders in the promotion of hygiene and sanitation
  • Raise and collect funds to subsidize the building of latrines for the populations
  • Support local authorities (“collectivités territoriales”) in achieving the PNDES 2016-2020 objectives related to hygiene and sanitation.

The organization of a Sanitation night requires three crucial phases:


Sanitation night was organized last year in Boucle du Mouhoun region on the sidelines of World Toilet Day. Boucle du Mouhoun region of Burkina has sanitation access rates lower than the national average. Moreover, there are large disparities among the six provinces of the region – while 5 of these provinces have access rates lower than 15%, Balé reached 47.7% due to the interventions by the NGOs– WaterAid and Eau Vive, supported by funding from the European Union. Ahead of the Sanitation Night, an information campaign was launched for the regional leaders to mobilize funding for the implementation of these toilets. The strategy used for fundraising includes reservations for the gala dinner and leader subscriptions for latrines. The Sanitation Night also awards actors and entities who are working on hygiene and sanitation promotion in the country.

The sector Minister, Honourable Ambroise Ouédraogo (Ministre de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement) participated in the Night, which was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Urbanization and Habitation and was held in the presence of Minister of Justice and Civil protection, the Garde des sceaux, and the State Secretary of the Minister for Women, National solidarity and family in charge of Social affairs, persons living with disability and the fight against exclusion.

Results of the Sanitation Night in the Boucle de Mouhoun

  • While the initial objective was to obtain contributions for 5000 latrines (corresponding to around 50000 beneficiaries), the final subscriptions attained were 5238 latrines. According to the sector Ministry, the total funds promised (on the Night, and over the telephone) amount to 392.850 million FCFA (USD 670,000).
  • After the Night, a document entitled “Implementation strategy for the latrines of the Sanitation Nights” was drafted and validated (“Stratégie de mise en œuvre des latrines de la Nuit de l’Assainissement”). Six months after the Night, a sum of 73.855 million FCFA (USD 126,000) has been mobilised (this excludes budget allocations to the communes). The building of toilets is in progress and the mobilization is continuing.

The next Sanitation Night is also being planned, and another region of Burkina Faso has volunteered to host it. This initiative has generated interest among SWA partners in neighbouring countries.