Better access to clean water for cotton communities in Burkina Faso

04.12.2019

CmiA’s first partner in Burkina Faso, the cotton company Faso Coton, launched in October 2018 in a community project with the financial support from S. Oliver, and realized the construction of two boreholes in the villages of Doubgin and Thiougou by March 2019.

Initiated in close collaboration with local committees, the project quickly gained the support of the local communities. The construction took place in two stages, starting with an outreach phase to the communities of the populations and the other to the operational phase.

The communities were first made aware of the risks associated with diseases caused by the consumption of unsafe water. A few months later, the construction of the boreholes started under the supervision of the local committees set up by the village. Faso Coton’s approach was to set up these committees with seven or eight members, including five women, to manage the borehole in the long-term. There are trained persons for the maintenance of the borehole, and the committee is responsible to collect funds for routine maintenance, spare parts and any other necessary repairs. The committee is supported by the local authorities and the community as such.

Once the boreholes were up and running, the beneficiaries were interviewed in April and May 2019 on their views and opinions in order to evaluate the short-term impact of the project.

In total, more than 2250 people use the boreholes on daily basis for both domestic and commercial purposes. The most outstanding result from the impact interviews is a significant amount of time that is saved for the tasks to collect safe drinking water for the households. Women and children, mainly girls, safe two to four hours per day, which they had to spend to collect water from remote places. While children can invest this time in learning for school, women report to devote the ‘gained’ time in economic activities, such as picking, processing and selling of local products like shea butter or néré.

In conclusion, the project succeeded in having a very positive impact on the livelihoods of community members, specifically in