Sanitation takes center stage at Africa’s biggest street party – Carnival Calabar

Date: 9th January 2019

Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1 [name] => Uncategorised [slug] => uncategorised [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 495 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 495 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorised [category_nicename] => uncategorised [category_parent] => 0 ) )

Cross River State, South-South Nigeria, has held an annual carnival every year for the past 12 years. Tagged, ‘Africa’s Biggest Street Party’, it brings together an average of 3 million people into Calabar every December. The 2018 Carnival Calabar took a different turn as sanitation and hygiene were at the center stage amidst the fun and entertainment. 

Messages about sanitation and hygiene were disseminated through handbills and fliers. Billboards and street lamp post also had key messages on them. Further, jingles and documentaries were shared over radio and TV.

With support from the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), programme actors, as the Cross River State Agency for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, the Agency for Primary Health Care and United Purpose, facilitated 100 volunteers, who took to the streets during the four main days of carnival activities including the street parades to promote the messages of Cross River State’s commitment to sanitation. 

As people gathered to watch the parades and the carnival floats, volunteers milled among them and shared fliers and handbills. These featured messages on sanitation and hygiene and a call to action for people to join the campaign to get Cross River State Open Defecation Free and enjoy the benefits of improved well-being.

More to that, three of the State’s FM radio stations aired jingles on the importance of improved sanitation in English and Pidgin, at least three times daily for over one week.  Leveraging on the state’s commitment to a clean and green environment, one of the key messages consistent on the radio was: ‘A Clean and Green Cross River State begins with ending open defecation’.

On the evening of the International carnival a feature of the Calabar Carnival where 27 international cultural troupes featured their cultural dances, the Governor and his wife were dressed in T-shirts bearing a Clean and Green Cross River State. During the evening, a brief documentary on the initiatives by the Cross River State government towards improved sanitation and hygiene as well as the march towards becoming Nigeria’s first Open Defecation Free State was featured.

In December 2018, the Cross River State government responded to a global call and made a commitment of USD $3 million annually towards improved sanitation and Hygiene for the next five years. The events of the Carnival Calabar in December 2018 were part of strengthening that commitment.

Related News

Blog from Emily Deschaine, Acting Head, Partnerships It’s 10 am in Allahabad and the Kumbh Mela, the largest religious festival in the world, is bathed in sunlight. We’re sitting outside in a roundtable discussion on WASH and women’s empowerment, which has brought together faith leaders (male and female), development partners, civil society and even politicians. […]

Faith-based, water-focused festival presents extraordinary opportunity to raise awareness among millions of people of the life-changing benefits of better hygiene The largest human gathering on Earth is assembling in India this month as tens of millions of people from across the country and around the world make their way to the city of Prayagrajfor the […]

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)’s vision is a world in which everyone, everywhere is able to practice safe sanitation and hygiene with dignity. Working to facilitate sector coordination at national, regional and global levels, WSSCC believes that the 5th African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene is a unique opportunity to promote political […]

A few months ago, Leonard Ochwada was making more bricks than he could sell. Now he can’t keep up with demand. It’s a good problem to have, not just because of what it means for Leonard’s earnings, but also for the health of the people in his community. Leonard is a member of a youth […]