Photo 1: Household survey session

The Identification of Change Champions

The challenge for the Living Lab of West Africa (LLWA) is to find the interlink to managing wastes, rainwater, and floods through a proper detection and appreciation of the causes, impacts, and consequences of urban floods on the well-being in the capital city of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

From August to October, the LLWA core team conducted a series of surveys to recruit reference households and collect baseline data for assessing flood triggers and monitoring individual change within the Living Lab (Photo 1).

The baseline survey for reference household identification was conducted from 03 to 17 September 2022. The main objective was identifying voluntary households willing to be used as samples and case studies for the I-CHANGE project. They have tagged the “Change Champions.” Another household group was also identified as the “Control” sample during the same survey exercises. The selection of “Change Champions,” also known as the “reference” households directly, will benefit from the I-CHANGE project results, experiences, and monitoring tools. They will be highly engaged with the LLWA activities, and their data will be analyzed to see the project’s effect on the individual and collective changes in the I-CHANGE project and beyond. While the “Control” sample will be monitored only for intercomparison with the “Change Champions.”

As illustrated in the figure below, the surveys were carried out in six secteurs of Ouagadougou, known for its many unofficial dumping sites, a small number of drainage canals, swampy topography, and the high frequency of flood events.


Figure 1: Localisation of selected households for waste management and flooding monitoring

Public Awareness Campaign

As a follow-up to the cleaning of drainage canals conducted by the LLWA in July-August 2022 in the City center of Ouagadougou, an awareness campaign was organized on Friday, the 28th of October 2022. The campaign aimed at drawing the attention of the ordinary citizens close to drainage canals to “Be part of the solution, not of the pollution.” The action also sought to open a public debate on the need to “Change the habit,” “stop dumping garbage into the drainage canals,” and “use waste bins.” The awareness campaign was led by staff from WASCAL, the city council, and some voluntary citizens members of the LLWA (Photo 2).

Photo 2: An awareness team

Some T-shirts, posters, and pamphlets (figure 2) were distributed during the campaign, and thousands of ordinary citizens were touched in many areas (secteurs) of Ouagadougou.

Figure 2: A specimen of the pamphlets distributed during the awareness campaign