Burkina Faso Water

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa and one of the poorest nations in the world. Just over half of the population has access to safe water and only around 11% have access to sanitation with all the inherent heath risks this entails. In fact, out of a population of some 16 million, 20,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea each year by not having access to clean water and overall one in five children die before their fifth birthday.

Burkina Faso is not alone in facing drought conditions as rainfalls across western Africa have been steadily reducing over recent years and levels of desertification have been increasing.

As a result many Burkinabe have abandoned their homesteads and moved to urban areas, but without planning and against a backdrop of national poverty, this has merely compounded the scarcity of water and sanitation facilities.

Apart from the rainy season (May/June - September), Burkina Faso relies upon its three main rivers for water; the Black Volta (or Mouhoun), the White Volta (Nakambé) and the Red Volta (Nazinon); however only the Black Volta and the River Komoé in the south west of the country flow all year round.

The country also has a number lakes and streams that flow for part of the year, however, ironically, these often flood and cause wide spread damage such as in the summer of 2010 when entire villages were lost and tens of thousands were left homeless.

Agencies such as Water Aid (see banner above ~ visit their site, its well worth a look ~ oh, and consider helping them out with a donation!) have been active in Burkina Faso for many years helping to address the water situation there and have helped over 32,000 Burkinabe gain access to clean water.


Burkina Faso Water

Burkina Faso Water

Burkina Faso Water

Burkina Faso Water



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Burkina Faso Water This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Water Situation in Burkina FasoWater Aid work in partnership with other NGOs on projects such as building and refurbishing boreholes and training locals to undertake these construction projects as well as all important education with schools being encouraged to teach children the importance of hygiene.

Other innovative projects working with Burkinabe women to make soap which can not only be sold to make money but spreads the concept of hand washing which can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by over 40%.

Burkina Faso WaterIronically in 2009 Burkina Faso faced its worst flooding for ninety years with 90,000 people forced from their homes seeking shelter with the capital Ouagadougou and its environs being hardest hit even forcing its main hospital, Yalgado, to close after much of it was destroyed after a nearby dam burst its banks. Some idea of the extent of the floods can be realised by the fact that the city received one quarter of its entire annual rainfall in the space of just a couple of hours.

However the rainy season of 2010 was to bring yet more misery to an estimated 100,000 people in Burkina Faso with many communities cut off from aid and food supplies. Even before the end of the rainy season the floods in Burkina Faso had caused extensive damage to roads, schools, bridges, health facilities and other infrastructure. The heavy rains towards the end of July also caused dams to burst flooding fifty villages and ruining much needed crops. The video documentary (above, right) above highlights the water situation in Burkina Faso and some of the work being undertaken there to address it.


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