Barkina Faso
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Burkina Faso
Overview Background Solutions Documents

Burkina Faso is the one of the poorest countries in the world, with nearly half the population (46% in 2004) living below the poverty line. The agriculture sector contributes 31% to the country's GDP and provides employment for over 80% of its population. According to FAO-Aquastat, the country's renewable water endowment is 17.5 km3 made up of 8 km3 of surface water and 9.5 km3 of groundwater. Out of an estimated irrigation potential of 233,500 ha, a little over 32,000 ha are under some form of agricultural water management with only about 20,000 ha effectively cultivated annually. As part of its irrigation development strategy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulics and Fisheries, has pledged to expand the area under irrigation to 60,000 ha of new and rehabilitated irrigation by 2015.


The AgWater Solutions project has been working in Burkina Faso for three years. Project staff initially reviewed existing AWM practices and their geographical contexts using field observations, secondary data sources, household interviews and discussions with key organisations. The project's research has revealed that there are numerous AWM technologies and methods in use in Burkina Faso. These include:

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West Bengal
  Low-cost pumps: motorized and manual.  
  Micro-irrigation technologies such as drip irrigation.  
  Technologies to capture surface water (e.g., small reservoirs and rainwater harvesting).  
  Groundwater use (e.g., wells and boreholes).  
  Soil and water conservation (SWC) technologies.  
  Low-pressure (semi-Californian) pipe networks.  
More information about these AWM solutions and the background situation in the country can be found in the Situation Analysis Briefing Notes.

Based on the initial review and advice from a range of stakeholders in Bukina Faso, the project team subsequently carried out more in-depth research on a selection of these solutions. These detailed case studies can be found on the Burkina Faso Documents page and more information is on the Burkina Faso Solutions page.

The research team is also carrying out related research in the Nariarle Watershed. This watershed is approximately 1,060km and drains into the Nakambe, or White Volta, the main tributary of the Volta River System. This area was singled out for research because it has an extensive small reservoir network, water is needed by many people for a wide range of uses, opportunities exist for developing irrigation and there are already institutional reforms under way to improve water management.

Project Activities
Inception and Midterm Workshops
An inception workshop for the entire project was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2009. The project plan was discussed and work plan details were agreed for all countries. In January 2010, a midterm project workshop was held in Lusaka, Zambia, which was attended by representatives from each country where the project is being undertaken. The participants reviewed progress, adapted work plans, and further detailed outputs and outreach plans for all countries.
Situation Analysis of AWM Technologies
A Situation Analysis of AWM technologies in Burkina Faso was conducted by a team of three national irrigation professionals under the aegis of the Burkina Faso National Irrigation and Drainage Committee (Comité National des Irrigations et du Drainage du Burkina Faso (CNID-B)) in late 2009-early 2010. The purpose of this was to provide background material on and analysis of:
  Existing environmental, hydrological and climatic conditions.  
  National institutional and policy frameworks related to AWM.
  Typologies of existing AWM practices and their geographic spread.  
  Key actors who are supporting the development of AWM in each region.  
  Promising AWM solutions that merit further detailed study.  
The findings are presented in a comprehensive report, which recommended detailed investigation of:
  Conditions for reduced costs of motor pump operation.  
  Geographic zones with potential for low-cost groundwater extraction.  
  Existing research results and knowledge related to 1) the promotion of drip irrigation, and 2) field tests for adaptation and adoption, including farmer training.  
  Design norms and practices related to construction and management of small reservoirs and associated irrigation schemes with a view to reducing costs and ensuring sustainability.  
  Supplementary irrigation demonstrations, including technical and socioeconomic analysis of results.  
  Technical, organizational and economic prospects of collective use of motor pumps.  
National Consultation Workshop
The National Consultation Workshop was held in Ouagadougou from May 4-6, 2010. The workshop was attended by some 60 participants representing the public and private sectors, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and farmer organizations. The event was made up of three distinct sessions:
  Presentation, discussion and amendment of the AWM Situation Analysis report.  
  Presentation and discussion of results from the project's case study on small dams.  
  Mapping livelihood zones with high AWM potential in Burkina Faso. A summary of the workshop is available as a briefing note on the project website.  
Mapping AWM Potential and Solutions in Burkina Faso
As part of the National Consultation Workshop, a session was held to discuss the out-scaling of promising AWM solutions. The objectives of this session were to:
  Define a typology of livelihood zones in Burkina Faso.  
  Prepare a national map locating the main livelihood zones of Burkina Faso.  
  Identify the potential of promising AWM solutions in Burkina Faso for poverty reduction in each of these livelihood zones.  
Experts from various relevant disciplines and institutes participated in the session to identify, locate and describe the main livelihood patterns in Burkina Faso, and to discuss the relevance of AWM in relation to rural livelihoods. The initial set of maps prepared during the workshop formed the basis for additional data collection and analysis by the project team.

Regional Consultations
Between April and June 2010 ten regional consultations were carried out to gather the views and perspectives of multiple actors, and to complete and validate the livelihood maps and the list of promising AWM solutions. A key outcome of these consultations was consensus on a priority list of promising AWM solutions to further analyze, including: drip irrigation; small motor pumps; promoting wetlands/inland valley agriculture; promoting solar-energy driven pumps; supplementary irrigation; small reservoirs; low pressure underground pipe networks; and treadle pumps. It was also suggested that the AWM project carry out work to:

  Create and disseminate a knowledge base of strengths and weaknesses (technical and economic) of each  


promising AWM solution to improve decision-making.  
  Identify and promote improvements to the predominant rainfed farming sector.
  Identify innovative ways of financing and supporting AWM investments by small-scale producers.  
  Address issues related to uncertainties about land tenure.  
  Promising AWM solutions that merit further detailed study.  
Field Level Case Studies   Watershed Studies
Based on the results of the Situation Analysis, the National Consultation and the Regional Consultations, the project carried out case studies on the opportunities and constraints related to:   The project is also carried out five complementary research tasks in the Nariarle Watershed to assess the:
  Small dams.  
  Drip irrigation.  
  Motor pumps.  
  Hydrological impact of current and potential AWM interventions.
  Current land use patterns, including irrigated and rainfed agriculture.  
  Current resource-based livelihoods in each watershed, and related dependencies on different sources of water and AWM practices at community and watershed scale.  
  Impact assessment of potential AWM scenarios at watershed scale  
  Formal and informal institutional capacity to deal with AWM interventions and potential emerging externalities.