Beautification aims to enhance the look, appeal and usability of WASH facilities, such as toilets and handwashing systems, hygiene promotion (HP) materials and products and to create a sense of ownership of the facilities and the products. It requires Community Engagement (chapter [E]) so that community members are part of the process.
Beautification can be applied to facilities such as drinking water stations, pumps, handwashing stations, shared or public toilets and HP materials like print media. Beautification makes the landscape around facilities or displays more attractive by e.g. adding colour and lighting to make the product visually appealing. It also aims to spark the interest of the target audience to use, own and maintain the facility or to read and use the HP materials. The appearance of a healthcare facility, public space or school can make it become a source of pride and a valued feature in the community. Beautification can be done by painting the facility or putting artwork or promotional material on the walls. Plants, gardens and lighting around the facility can also enhance its visual appeal and make it more attractive to use. It is essential to use culturally appropriate materials, colour and design, hence discussion with community members is important. Beautification of facilities can be done quickly and the community often initiates, leads and manages the process with minimal support. Although Beautification does not directly influence behaviour, it can lay the foundation for the target audience to appreciate, use and maintain the facility or to read the promotional material.
Beautification of WASH facilities can be done in all settings but is usually most appropriate during the stabilisation and recovery phases and where facilities are more permanent. The Beautification of HP communication materials can be done in all phases of the response. If materials are not available, Beautification may require funding and innovation may be needed to make it cost-effective. For example, by using traditional methods of home decoration for latrines or recycling and adapting local materials.
Use locally available materials, plants etc. and make use of the skills of local artists
Involve the local leadership [T.22], community and children of different ages, especially at the beginning
Conduct Beautification Competitions [T.8] among communities or schools
Do not design Beautification using expensive or imported materials or expertise
Do not take over the process and make all the decisions; put those using the facility in charge
The first lady of Malawi launched colourful handwashing stations as part of a beautifying Malawi campaign and as a COVID-19 pandemic response. Handwashing facilities were placed in public spaces with colourful boards and awareness pictures.
IFRC (2021): A Guide to Community Muralisation
SBM Gramin (2019): Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya Contest
Sharma, P. (2018): These New York Artists Are Bringing Colours and Smiles to Rohingya Camps, News 18