Murals…A magic bullet for children’s awareness for on water safety?

By Rajab Mgonja, Frida Sanga, Sara Dewachter, Nathalie Holvoet

In a bid to keep encouraging Citizen Science for co-creation of water knowledge in the picturesque coastal town  Bagamoyo, Tanzania, the Women Water Watch (WWW) project recently embarked on a captivating initiative, bringing together art, education, and community engagement. 

From June 28, 2023, to July 5, 2023, the Women Water Watch project undertook the task of creating educational murals in eight primary schools across the region. This endeavor was aimed at not only increasing awareness among children about clean and safe water but also emphasizing the importance of proper handwashing practices. 

To do so, the project invited the nineteen wWw monitors and one local artist to gather in the Kaole Conference hall at the Twins Park Hotel, Bagamoyo Tanzania to jointly brainstorm. 

Photo: Women Monitors with the local artist ready to discuss the mural activity for schools

The wWw women and the artist together worked on how mural art can most effectively motivate children in primary school to be aware of the dangers of unsafe water and hygiene for their health, taking into account the limitations of the space available in the primary schools.

Photo: Group of WWW monitors giving ideas on Murals

The Women Water Watch Project

The Women Water Watch (WWW) project is a local initiative that focuses on water-related issues in the Bagamoyo region. Run by Aqua Farms Organization (AFO) partnered with IOB, University of Antwerp and Mzumbe University, aimed for a group of dedicated women monitors, this project has been instrumental in flagging issues of water scarcity, pollution, and health-related challenges in the community.

Photo: Group photo of WWW monitors

Making the Murals

Murals have long been recognized as a powerful medium for conveying important messages to communities. The wWw project leveraged this creative avenue to educate and inspire Bagamoyo’s primary school children. Here’s an overview of this inspiring initiative:

Photo: Ms. Frida Sanga (AFO) engaging the wWw women monitors to brainstorm to make murals

Eight Primary Schools Transformed

The project selected eight primary schools in Bagamoyo district as canvases for the wWw murals. These eight schools, where the wWw project had already organised several activities to raise childrens’ awareness about safe water and hygiene, included Kidomole P/S, Kitame P/S, Miembe Saba P/S, Yombo P/S, Kongo P/S, Bigilo P/S, Mtoni P/S and Kifude P/S.
Each school was to have 2 murals drawn;

  •  One mural as a reminder on how to wash hands
  • Another mural for water safety and storage

The Artistic Process

It all started on the 26th June, 2023, where the 19 women monitors jointly discussed how they would want the murals to look like. A talented local artist collaborated with women monitors from wWw team to bring these murals to life through brainstorming. Themes focused on the significance of clean and safe water, as well as the importance of handwashing in preventing diseases. Ms. Frida Sanga from AFO and Rajab Mgonja from Mzumbe University were also on the look to help bring the murals to life.

Photo: The local artist, Mr. Jeromini engaging with women monitors to create murals for schools

Engaging Visuals

The murals are a feast for the eyes, especially for the kids. Colorful depictions about clean and safe water, informative diagrams showing the harmful practices leading to water pollution, and engaging illustrations of proper handwashing techniques adorn the school walls.

Photo: Educational messages in Swahili when to wash hands and how to wash hands

Educational Messages

Education is a cornerstone of the Women Water Watch project-alongside the captivating visuals, the murals feature educational messages in Swahili. These messages reinforce key water-related facts-hygiene and storage practices.

Photo: Mural showing some visuals about clean and safe water

Community Involvement

The project encouraged community involvement by inviting parents, teachers, local leaders and women monitors from wWw to participate in the mural painting process. However a few were able to attend while most would find time after murals have been drawn due to tight schedules. This not only fostered a sense of ownership but also promoted a collective commitment to water and hygiene awareness. 

Photo: A parent viewing the mural after being drawn by local artist
Photo: Ms. Rehema Goko (wWw monitor) with local artist and school teacher at Bigilo P/S

The Impact anticipated

The impact of the Women Water Watch Project’s mural activity is already being felt:

Increased Awareness: The murals serve as a constant reminder to primary school students about the importance of clean water and proper handwashing, ultimately could lead to healthier habits.

Behavioral Change: Children are not only learning about these crucial practices but will hopefully also actively incorporating them into their daily routines.

Community Engagement: The project has ignited a sense of community spirit and collaboration, with parents and local leaders coming together to support the cause. The project hopes these initiatives could to expand their reach, aiming to transform more schools in Bagamoyo with similar impacts.

Future Advocates: By educating children about water conservation and hygiene, the project is nurturing a generation of informed advocates who will continue to champion these causes.

The Women Water Watch Project’s mural activity in Bagamoyo is a testament to the power of art and community engagement. By transforming school walls into vibrant educational canvases, the project sets out to not only increasing awareness but also sowing the seeds of positive change in the hearts and minds of Bagamoyo’s primary school students and the society at large. In this way, the project can contribute to Bagamoyo taking a significant step towards a healthier and more sustainable future, one mural at a time. As the project continues to grow, it offers hope for a brighter, more sustainable future for this coastal town and its people.

Citer ce billet
Sara Dewachter (2023, 1 septembre). Murals…A magic bullet for children’s awareness for on water safety? Women Water Watch. Consulté le 14 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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