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Artisans in Burkina at the service of the anti-Covid-19 fight

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Meet Burkinabè artisans who put their know-how and their means in the fight against the coronavirus.

Georges Pitroipa works in his welding workshop south-west of Ouagadougou, the capital of the “country of honest men”. This skilled worker intends to participate in the national effort to break the chain of transmission of the Covid-19. It is for this reason that this father of two children has just invented a subtle hand washing system. “I noticed that people used their hands to open the tap, the liquid soap box, etc. This carries risks. So I thought about a hand washing system with the least amount of manipulation possible, ”says the craftsman.

Hands, according to experts, are one of the most important vectors of virus transmission. The mechanism developed by Georges allows efficient use of hand washing systems without manual contact. Suddenly, the feet are used in this mechanical system for the distribution of water and liquid soap.

Georges, in his late thirties, makes three models of hand washers with one, two or three pedals respectively. The prices are between 40,000 and 120,000 CFA francs (60 and 182 euros). “We can manufacture ten washbasins with one pedal, eight with two pedals and three with three pedals daily,” he said.

Faso Dan Fani 

This woven loincloth has, for a long time, crossed the Burkinabè borders. Promoted by the charismatic former Head of State Thomas Sankara, the Faso Dan Fani (woven loincloth of the fatherland, in local language) has established itself in the clothing style of the Burkinabè. The current President of the Republic, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré is currently one of the most illustrious ambassadors.

Creator of the Ange Confection brand, Césarine Massom set her sights on this traditional fabric to sew alternative masks intended for the general public. In his premises nestled in Dassasgho, a district east of Ouagadougou, work is in full swing.

“People had difficulty finding medical masks. My goal is to contribute to the battle against the spread of the disease,”underlines the young entrepreneur.

Césarine Massom, who repeats that she is not motivated by profit, sells her cloth masks at 150 F CFA per unit (22 cents). “It is a social prize. We did not take into account all the production costs, especially the woven loincloth, accessories and manufacturing time, ”she explains.

For the boss of Ange Confection, the goal is to allow as many people as possible to “get it” so that the virus does not circulate without hindrance in her country.

Since March 9, Burkina Faso has counted five-hundred and eighty one cases of Covid-19 on its territory and the virus has already caused thirty-eight deaths.

In Africa, the threshold of a thousand deaths has recently been crossed. Only two countries on the continent are officially spared by the pandemic: Lesotho and the Comoros.

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