BARKA's Theatre Troupe performs live in Fada
Last month, BARKA's professional Theatre Troupe revived its original production "Water for the Present and for the Future" for a ten-performance tour throughout communities in Fada N'Gourma.
The play focuses on hygiene education, the need to collect small micro-payments from water users for sustainable water resource management, and the importance of the role of women with regard to water resources for the community.
In this project, we focused on building the capacity of local water committees who are the stewards and caretakers of the local water points. This play sensitized communities on the issue of the need for water users to pay small sums of money so the committee will have funds to repair the pump when it eventually fails. Before and after each performance the local water committee was able to address the crowd and discuss and issues or problems they're experiencing.
The project was made possible through a grant by the US Embassy of Burkina Faso which was announced last year during the Gala Dinner of The Water Fair. Together with a gift from the First Lady of Burkina Faso, the US Embassy grant inaugurated the International Water Fund which is focused on water, sanitation & hygiene education in the eastern region of Burkina Faso.
The tour was a great success. Crowds were large and very receptive. After each show, the troupe led the audience in a discussion of the issues raised by the play and these post-performance debates were lively. The play was performed in front of 4500 people with an average audience size of 450.
Burkina Faso is one of the most illiterate countries in the world. In such an environment, theatre is a creative and cost-effective way to convey complex concepts in ways that can be understood and remembered leading to behavioral change. The filmed performance of "Water for the Present and for the Future" will soon begin screening on Burkina's national bus lines to continue to expand the impact of its important social messages.
Crowds were large and enthusiastic
The local water committee addresses the community
A village elder shares his views in the debate