Project Results: 

Simulation games for hygiene education and grey water treatment

Growing awareness in schools by serious gaming

About the project
This small project contained the development and piloting of two serious games for two schools in Ethiopia. One for hygiene education of pupils and the other for maintenance awareness of sanitation and grey water treatment. These innovative board games aimed at involving school children in a playful way on the serious topics of improved hygiene, sanitation and recycling of treated water from hand washing facilities at school. The games promoted water reuse to school children on the one hand while making savings in drinking water consumption on the other hand. The project included the construction of some toilets and a helofyte filter for grey water.

Key results
• More  access for pupils to sanitation and hygiene education/health facilities.
• Better maintenance of toilets and grey water facility.
• Great social acceptance of the game.
• Increased awareness and involvement concerning efficient water use.
• Changed hygiene behaviour in terms of toilet use and re-use of treated water.
• Schools have become greener.
• A digital version didn’t work out, due to poor internet connection.

Tips for the future
• Integration of game (development) with parallel WASH implementation is key.
• Obtaining better hand washing practice takes time and effort.
• Longer term monitoring on use and behavior ensures reliable data.
• Development of good quality games requires years.

Potential for growth
Lead partner LeAF found a new project in which the game is further integrated in WASH for schools in Ethiopia. A new game is under development (with Meta Meta), including a web-based version. The combined grey water facility has potential in creating employment.

Project partners
LeAF, MGL Consulting Engineers PLC, Kidus Kora’an School, Adama Town Health Office

June 2017- October 2018


Adama, Ethiopia


Improving school WASH remains a challenge in many parts of the world. Contrary to the schools in European countries, schools in Sub-Saharan Africa often have to finance water and electricity bills from their own budget, as well as the maintenance of all facilities. School WASH is a topic of interest of local stakeholders in Adama – viz. Adama Town Health Office (ATHO), Adama Town Education Office (ATEO), schools’ management, teachers and students. However, after initial improvement of the school hardware (constructed toilets, installed drinking water taps), schools often fail to maintain the drinking water and sanitation systems.

Overview of Goals

It is foreseen to develop two computer-assisted role-playing games (board games) targeting different stakeholders and developed for different purposes:
1. Simplified concept simulation– introduction of the grey water treatment and reuse idea for school students, WASH clubs, parents, Kebele officials.
2. Simulation of the working principle and daily O&M of the grey water treatment system – for operator(s), school teachers, SME involved in the design and construction of infrastructure.

Results and indicators