Location WASH



In Burundi, hundreds of thousands of people live in areas that are high-risk for cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases. In 2018, up to 19% of deaths of children under five were due to these diseases. And as many as 61% of people in Burori, Rumonge and Mwaro provinces were not regularly washing their hands at home to prevent infection.

To address this, we worked with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Belgian Red Cross to implement a multimedia behaviour change campaign to improve key sanitation and hygiene behaviours in these three provinces. This intervention was part of the Programme sectoriel Eau et assainissement (ProSecEau).




Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) – transporting, storing and handling of drinking water, washing hands at critical moments and latrine use and maintenance .


10 x 1-minute radio spots, six x 1-2 minute animations and two x 3-5 minute animations, each produced in Kirundi language, to be distributed on SD cards and shared via mobile phones.


This 16-month multimedia intervention was carried out in the Rumore, Bururi and Mwaro provinces in Burundi from January 2019 to May 2020. GIZ intend to distribute our films beyond project end.

Project at a glance

Radio spots produced
Animations produced

Our Approach


Addressing cholera and diarrhoeal disease risk

We worked with GIZ and The Belgian Red Cross to conduct formative research activities to understand the barriers to changing WASH behaviours. We conducted extensive desk research and supported the Red Cross to conduct 39 focus group discussions with men and women in Rumore, Bururi and Mwaro provinces. The key barriers identified included a lack of knowledge about when to wash your hands, a belief that clear water could not be a source of disease and open defecation habits.


A story of two twins

We used the findings from our formative research to produce 10 x 1-minute radio spots encouraging proper handwashing at various points in the day (after defecation, when preparing or before eating food, and after breastfeeding) and sharing information on how to safely store, handle and transport drinking water. We also produced six 1-2 minute animations that follow the story of two cheeky twins, Bukuru and Butoyi, as they navigate humorous situations, highlighting behaviours and issues related to handwashing and the handling, storage and transport of drinking water. In addition to this, we produced two longer instructional animations to help our target population build Akasuga (or tippy-tap) latrines.

One of our animations, ‘Dirty Hands Make You Sick’, about the twins learning about handwashing at school, was selected for the prestigious 2020 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Cartoon of two children in uniform eating donuts happily
Two men sitting listening to the radio demonstrating the reach of DMI's radio campaigns


Content Distribution in Partnership

With the help of the Red Cross, we broadcast our 10 radio spots on the three most popular radio stations in the intervention provinces. All videos were loaded onto 6000 SD cards for distribution. The Red Cross trained 60 volunteers to distribute the SD cards in the intervention communities so that they could be shared further via Bluetooth or other low-tech peer-to-peer sharing mechanisms. The films were also shown at 50 monthly mobile cinema events (with 200-400 attendees per event) run by the Red Cross during the intervention period.


Project impact

Our Impact

Project Impact

Project Impact data will be posted here when available.

GIZ’s activities are still continuing in Burundi, so a full evaluation has not yet been conducted. We will help GIZ evaluate ProSecEau fully when the evaluation activities have been conducted.

Partners & Funders

This project was part of Programme Sectoriel Eau et Assainissement Burundi (ProSecEau), a Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded and directed project commissioned by the German Government. It was delivered in partnership with the Belgian Red Cross. Due to the security and political situation in Burundi, we did not have a physical presence in the country for this project.

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