Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, is a West African country that covers over 105,900 square miles and is home to over 19 million people. After 20 years of relative stability, Burkina Faso turned a page in its history with a popular uprising bringing legislative and presidential elections in November 2015. As a result, skills and responsibilities for providing certain social services (health care, education, drinking water and sanitation) were transferred to local authorities. Municipal elections were held in May 2016, and new municipal councils are being formed.
From 2009-2014, poverty fell from 47% to 40%. Agriculture is the population’s main source of revenue and accounts for 40% of the GDP, employing nearly 80% of the population.
The Water Crisis in Burkina Faso
Disease prevention in Burkina Faso is limited and mainly focused on the fight against epidemics. A staggering 88% of diarrheal diseases are caused by low water quality, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. 3 million people in Burkina Faso lack access to an improved water source and only 22% have access to a toilet, causing over 2,800 childhood deaths per year for children under 5. Water supply and sanitation are high in urban areas but low in rural areas, where three-quarters of the population live. Access to improved sanitation lags significantly behind access to water supply.
The Water Solution in Burkina Faso
Water4 and Access Development began operations in Burkina Faso in 2016 in partnership with a local drilling business, Layarbo. Layarbo was trained by Winrock International in 2012, a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Following training from Winrock International, Layarbo was trained in rotary jetting by Access Development in 2017. Operations in Burkina Faso are supported by joint funds from One Drop, WaterAid and the Conrad Hilton Foundation to improve water access, sanitation and hygiene for far west Burkina Faso.
Since operations began, three water projects have been completed, reaching 750 people with access to safe water. The goal is to improve water supply and sanitation for 55,000 people with 100 cost-effective boreholes and in partnership with 3-5 local businesses, providing training and access to improved tools. Through the One Drop project, three kiosks will be installed in 2017 and five before the end of 2018.
The current Burkina Faso pilot project runs through 2018 and if proven successful could lead to additional projects in collaboration with these major institutional partners.
Info from Wikipedia and WaterAid