Published on: 19/06/2019
Vulnerable women deprived of access to water due to insufficient investment and a failure of the service delivery model. Design: Damien Glez ©IRC.
IRC's current activities are part of the organisation's strategic plan for the period 2017 to 2021. For Burkina Faso, it is expected that by 2021, the water sector will have established the institutional and organisational foundations for the sectoral system in order to achieve SDGs 6.1 and 6.2. These foundations must be in place both at the national and municipal levels. The municipality of Banfora is IRC's selected partner to try and achieve SDGs 6.1 and 6.2. This choice was the result of a strategic diagnosis, which established that the sector's institutional and organisational systems in 2017 will not enable the country to achieve the SDGs for drinking water and sanitation.
To contribute to the establishment of these foundations, IRC provides technical and financial assistance to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation and to the Town Hall of Banfora. This technical assistance focuses on programming, planning, financing of investment and operations, monitoring and evaluation, service delivery models and assets and knowledge management. At the same time, IRC supports CSOs and national media to allow them to strengthen social accountability and citizen control of public action in drinking water and sanitation. The combined results of these two processes will enable public authorities and citizens to actively drive accountability for the sector's progress with better mutual responsibility.
At the end of 2018, Burkina Faso's water sector system was characterised at the national level by a sustained presidential commitment (commitment made in 2016 to achieve the objective of "zero burden for water collection and a healthy living environment" by 2020), the existence of nationally budgeted programmes for SDGs 6.1 and 6.2, the start of a process for revising the rural water supply strategy in order to improve service quality. Nevertheless, the sector still suffers from a lack of financial investments (barely a third of sector programme needs are funded) and even a decrease in the contribution of the State's own funds to the annual budget of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, due to national security emergencies. It is also noted that the sector still uses as its main performance indicator, the access rates inherited from the MDGs despite the adoption of the SDGs. However, the work on revising standards, criteria and indicators is under way and advancing. This project should allow the alignment of indicators with the JMP’s standards in order to facilitate the orientation of the country's investments towards the achievement of SDGs 6.1 and 6.2. Finally, there is an increased organisation of CSOs and the media through the FAS'EAU alliance, which allows citizens to coordinate their resources and actions in order to strengthen citizen control of public action and social accountability through the operationalisation of the human-rights-based approach. This organisation is reflected in the implementation of a joint annual action plan and the gradual emergence of citizen initiatives to question authorities across the country and constructive discussions on the challenges posed by SDG 6 between citizens and authorities.
The diagram below summarizes the pathways to national progress from 2017 to 2018 and the expectations for 2019. Thus, in addition to maintaining the gains of 2018, it is expected that at the end of 2019, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation will have defined strategic orientations for the sector's organisational reform to better address the significant challenges of SDGs 6.1 and 6.2. Indeed, the need for this reform is enshrined in the governance programme for the water and sanitation sector, adopted by the Ministry within the framework of the SDGs. It is also expected that the Ministry will have adopted and started implementing a new strategy for managing public drinking water services in rural and semi-urban areas, building on the strengths and weaknesses of the current model and taking into account the ambitions of SDGs 6.1 and 6.2 to provide safely managed services. Finally, it is expected that by the end of 2019, the sector's standards, criteria and indicators will have been revised to align with the JMP methodology in order to facilitate the orientation of actions to achieve SDGs 6.1 and 6.2.
At the end of 2018, the water sector in Banfora launched the municipal strategic plan for public drinking water and sanitation services by 2030. The plan, drawn up with the technical assistance of IRC, was officially launched by the Town Hall following a mobilisation of a broad selection of local stakeholders (economic, cultural, traditional, social and religious leaders), national government and parliamentary authorities and international technical and financial partners based in Burkina Faso. This dynamic has enabled the Mayor and his executive team to get the broad support of all strategic stakeholders for the successful implementation of the strategic plan, with concrete commitments to finance the 2020 action plan. The launch of the plan also represents a decisive turning point in the leadership on drinking water and sanitation by the officials of the Town Hall of Banfora (elected officials and technicians) who were congratulated by the most important government authorities for their outstanding efforts.
Despite this important progress, the models for the provision of drinking water and sanitation services in Banfora remain generally dysfunctional and fail to ensure safely managed services in line with the ambition set out in the strategic plan. Also, the interventions of the various local and external stakeholders for drinking water and sanitation are neither coordinated nor clearly aligned with the requirements of the strategic plan.
The diagram below summarises the pathways to progress in the municipality of Banfora from 2017 to 2018 and the expectations for 2019. Thus, in addition to maintaining the achievements of 2018, it is expected that at the end of 2019, the Town Hall of Banfora will coordinate and supervise all interventions relating to drinking water and sanitation in order to improve their alignment with the strategic plan. Coordination and supervision require the implementation of mechanisms to formalise relations between stakeholders and the Town Hall, the definition of rules to be respected by stakeholders and the facilitation of dialogue and accountability mechanisms between partners and the Town Hall. It is also expected that the Town Hall will have started implementing the restructuring and organisational strengthening plan for the water and sanitation technical service with a view to improve operational support for the implementation of the strategic plan. It is then expected that at the end of 2019, the Town Hall, in collaboration with ONEA and the major technical stakeholders, will have defined a new model for the operation of drinking water services in rural areas, accompanied by a deployment plan. This model must reflect the Town Hall's ambitions to provide safely managed services throughout the territory. The Town Hall must also continue efforts to mobilise resources to finance the strategic plan. These efforts will be evaluated through a report presenting the situation of the plan's financing and the gap that remains to be filled for achieving the 2020 horizon. Finally, the Town Hall must have established a drinking water supply asset management plan, which the water and sanitation technical service will be responsible for.
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