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District WASH Master Planning Facility

District Case Study: Banfora

Process | Progress and outcomes | Partnership

Where: The urban commune of Banfora, the capital of Burkina Faso’s south-western Cascades Region. It is a relatively prosperous and urbanised commune with strong and committed local government leadership.
Population: About 154.000 in 2019, projected to rise to 235.000 by 2030.
Main challenge: In urban areas, water is supplied from the Moussodougou dam. People in rural areas depend on water from two simple piped drinking water supply systems and from 227 boreholes with hand pumps. One of the main challenges in Banfora is the number of people who still use a limited (23%) or an unimproved water source (8%).  

The district WASH master plan in Banfora responds to these challenges. 


2017: Preparation, strategic diagnosis and master plan formulation 

IRC started supporting a master planning process in the commune of Banfora in 2017. This process took place in several stages: 

Preparations: this stage was all about ensuring the commitment of the municipal authorities and setting up of a communal commission in charge of water and sanitation. 

Strategic diagnosis: in 2017 an in-depth assessment of Banfora’s of the provision of water and sanitation services was conducted. This assessment included:

  • An analysis of the socio-economic determining factors of service provision.  
  • An in-depth diagnosis of infrastructure, and the development of an asset management plan 
  • An assessment of the WASH service levels.  
  • An in-depth diagnosis of WASH services in schools, and health care centres 
  • An-depth evaluation of the existent operator’s capacities to deliver services. 
  • The identification of the potential of the water resources that can be mobilised to cover the needs up to 2030.  
  • An organisational diagnosis of the municipal technical department 
  • A detailed financial evaluation of costs and expenses incurred in the provision of services 
  • A diagnosis and development of a communication strategy to help Banfora in financing its masterplan. 
Masterplan formulation: this stage included the  
  • Development of a joint vision: To ensure sustainable WASH service delivery to everyone in the commune, from a baseline of 154,000 people in 2017, to 235,000 people by 2030, with 47,000 people with basic and 165,000 people with safely managed water services and ensuring that 28 schools and 17 health care facilities have decent and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. 
  • Development of a strategy for the development of WASH services 2018 – 2030 
  • A five-year action plan,  
  • A financing plan 
  • An implementation schedule 
  • A monitoring and evaluation system for measuring the quality of services. 
Validation of the Banfora’s master plan 2030: this stage allowed for full ownership and recognition of the strategy by all actors cooperating within the commune. It included 
  • Technical validation, by the regional directorate of WASH (DREA) 
  • Adoption of the master plan by the municipal council and the commitment to ensure that all interventions, including those by government, donors, NGOs, and private sector within the municipal territory are aligned with the plan 
  • Authorisation for implementation of the masterplan, by the supervisory authority – the High Commissioner at “province” level. 

2018-2021: Implementation of the first phase of the Banfora WASH Master Plan 

The implementation phase of Banfora's "strategic plan for SDG 6"was launched on 5 October 2018. The municipal team was supported by IRC to make the transition from planning to implementation of this plan. This stage included transfer of knowledge and skills to the municipal Water and Sanitation Technical Department (STMEA). This support included support to:

  • Marketing and social mobilisation for the master plan’s implementation: getting the municipality to draw up and manage its annual action plans, enhancing its efforts with technical partners and citizens. 
  • Setting up projects and looking for funding: helping the municipality to produce project documents, keep a watch on or respond to calls for projects.  
  • Monitoring-evaluation: set up a communal system for monitoring the quality of WASH services, to provide input and inform the decisions of municipal council. 
  • Concertation and dialogue: encourage the commune to ensure its leadership; organise annual meetings for steering the masterplan. 

Implementation of the master plan has included:  

  • Development of five-year and annual investment plans, bringing together all current and future projects in the municipality. 
  • A funding gap analysis for the first phase of the masterplan  

Progress and outcomes

  • Improved water supply: Excellent progress has been made since 2017. As of 2020, 59,000 people have a basic supply and an estimated 50,000 people now have a safely managed water supply. This is largely due to ONEA's efforts to increase household access to treated piped water in rural areas.
  • Improved WASH in schools and Health Care Facilities: 62 schools and 17 health care centres now have decent and sustainable water and sanitation facilities. And 99 schools and 17 health care centres now have access to handwashing facilities.

Other outcomes include:  

  • Improved coordination and exchange: A learning alliance, bringing together all actors in the commune, serving as a platform for coordination and exchange, and for joint monitoring and steering of the masterplan, has been established. The alliance has been meeting twice a year since 2018. 
  • Planning and coordination of WASH interventions in the area have improved significantly. For instance, local government has been strictly monitoring whether companies comply with national guidelines for constructing facilities for vulnerable groups in schools and health centres. This had not been the case before and represents significant progress. 
  • Capacity built of: (a) local elected people and local authorities in the human rights-based approach, and master planning. (b) technical municipal staff in asset management, communication, fundraising, citizens mobilisation and in monitoring-evaluation techniques. (c) citizens' and service consumers' associations in the human rights-based approach, and monitoring of municipal accountability. (d) Young people in the municipality in the management of services and role of the private sector, incubation and support for business creation in the field of WASH services.
  • Political leadership attracts partners and funders for master plan implementation. At the 2019 Pan-African Development Awards ceremony, the Mayor was presented with an award for his leadership, which he dedicated to IRC. IRC supported him in building a strong relationship with national public utility ONEA, which is using the master plan to prioritise investment in the commune. The political leadership shown by the commune of Banfora has already inspired other partners and funders to join the initiative. The strength of the master plan helped Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to attract funding from US-funder, charity: water. As a result, Banfora has secured about two-thirds of the funding it needs to implement its master plan. This was despite reduced national funding for WASH due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.  
The Banfora master planning process has been the starting point for collective action. Clear examples of successful collective action in and around Banfora include the following:  
  • Its COVID-19 response plan was developed under the leadership of the Mayor’s office, and brought together its partners, CRS, a local NGO, ECG and IRC in a united effort to align activities and mobilise funding to prepare for the pandemic. Each partner is now implementing the plan in its own area of expertise. 
  • The Saniya So project, implemented by CRS is improving WASH services in 17 health centres and 30 schools. Through training and awareness raising it has already improved many indicators including: access to on-site water supply; availability of safe sanitation and hand hygiene facilities; waste management in care rooms; and community participation in the management of facilities. 
  • Another CRS project called Ji Saniyani (‘clean water’ in the local Dioula language) – aims to increase equitable and universal access to safe and sustainable water services in targeted rural areas of the commune.  
  • ECG is improving infrastructure in health care facilities, especially in maternity wards, with the support of One Drop. They are also implementing Social Art for Behaviour Change™ interventions to promote the long-term adoption of healthy hygiene behaviours.  
  • In an important separate development, the European Union is supporting ONEA and IRC to adopt elements of the Banfora approach in 93 additional communes, and to develop full master plans in five of these.  
  • Citizen mobilisation has taken place through the "Faso-toilettes" campaign, to generate 57,000 euros for the construction of 500 household latrines. 
The commune and the Safe Water Strategy partnership have tested an approach that can serve as a national model and reference point to ensure that sustainable WASH services are available to everyone, for good, by 2030. IRC’s growing collaboration with ONEA shows that we are on track to achieve change at scale. So too is the adoption of the approach by other partners in their work outside Banfora.


Government leadership, supported by a coalition of partners, and coordinated by a hub led by IRC, is at the heart of the successful development and implementation of the master plan. The following partners are involved:  

Local Partners

  • Mayor's office

National Partners

  • Office National de l'Eau et Assainissement (ONEA – National Utility)
  • Espace Culturel Gambidi (national NGO)
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of National Education
  • Ministry of Water and Sanitation

International Partners

  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • One Drop Foundation
  • Aquaya Institute
  • charity: water
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
  • Danida
  • IRC
  • KfW
  • Stanford Program on Water
  • Health & Development (WHD)
  • Water 4


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