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Banfora on the road to SDG 6: lessons from 3 years strategic WASH plan

Published on: 08/03/2021

The third annual review meeting on the strategic WASH plan of Banfora took place in February 2021.

NGOs, CSOs, decentralised state technical services, partners, all responded to the call to contribute to the success of the strategic plan (Photo NR. Zohoun)

NGOs, CSOs, decentralised state technical services, partners, all responded to the call to contribute to the success of the strategic plan (Photo NR. Zohoun)

Every year, since 2018, Banfora district has been evaluating the level of implementation of its water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) plan and the contribution of its partners to progress during an annual review meeting. By promoting this successful experience in Banfora, IRC aims to get the actors on the same page, having a collective objective and sharing the same vision and correcting mistakes as they occur. Under the co-chairmanship of Josephine Kouara Apiou/Kaboré, Governor of the Cascades region and Aboubakar Hema, Mayor of Banfora, about sixty representatives of partners and state services working in the WASH sector participated in this 3rd annual review meeting, from 3 to 5 February 2021 in Banfora.

The primary purpose of this formal meeting is to capitalise on the achievements with a view to improving the effectiveness of the WASH projects and programmes for the current year and those to come. At the same time, it is essential for the efficient implementation of the strategic plan itself. This exercise provides an opportunity for actors in the sector and other stakeholders to critically review the progress made, exchange knowledge and learn to improve WASH service levels and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 in Banfora.

An update on progress made, lessons learned and challenges met in implementing the WASH projects and programmes over the past 3 years, a careful look at the five-year planning horizon 2021-2025 and ideas for the development of the 2021 Annual Budgeted Work Plan. All this is on the agenda for the annual review meeting which marks the end of the first phase of implementation of the strategic plan.

From left to right, Aboubakar Hema, Mayor of Banfora, Kouara Apiou/Kabore, Governor of the Cascades Region, and Richard Bassono WASH governance expert from IRC (Photo NR. Zohoun)

From left to right, Aboubakar Hema, Mayor of Banfora, Kouara Apiou/Kabore, Governor of the Cascades Region, and Richard Bassono WASH governance expert from IRC (Photo NR. Zohoun)

For Josephine Kouara Apiou/Kaboré, Governor of the Cascades region, this review is a monitoring mechanism that is part of a process of experience sharing between the actors of the WASH sector who support the district in its development actions and to align them with the national commitments. Mr. Hema expressed his gratitude to IRC for its unprecedented support in the implementation of the strategic plan. 

A review of the progress made over the past three years shows that nearly 54,760 people are directly impacted by the construction of new drinking water facilities (private connections, standpipes, boreholes equipped with handpumps), about 20,340 people have access to basic sanitation, all 14 health institutions have received several materials (individual protection equipment, chlorine production devices, handwashing facilities), 99 schools have benefited from handwashing devices with consumables. In all, eleven (11) partners including the district, contributed to achieving these tangible results despite the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficult security situation. 

These results on the ground would not have been possible without the substantial help of IRC, which throughout the process, has focused on capacity building and institutional and technical support to the various stakeholders in the management of drinking water supply and sanitation services and the mobilisation of funding. The results of IRC's contribution are all the more remarkable at the local governance level through the increased leadership of the first municipal official, a regulatory framework that matches the ambitions, several new partnerships signed, the creation of a department dedicated to water and sanitation issues, acquisition of a drilling workshop, and a communication strategy with a 5-year implementation plan. Concerning the level of financial execution, out of an expected financing of CFAF 9.932 billion, CFAF 8.78 billion could be mobilised, a rate of 88%.

Participants made proposals and amendments for the improvement of the 2021-2025 action plan (Photo NR Zohoun)

Participants made proposals and amendments for the improvement of the 2021-2025 action plan (Photo NR Zohoun)

Despite the promising progress made towards universal access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation, Banfora still has a long way to go on coverage. However, the mobilisation of new partners, continued support from IRC and growing institutional capacity provide a good basis for future progress. For the next five years, the partners will focus on building the capacity of the communal authority to improve WASH services, building and managing improved drinking water and sanitation facilities, and training/awareness-raising among the population on their direct involvement in terms of behaviour change and even citizen monitoring in order to improve the rate of access to safely managed services.

This meeting was also used for an update of the implementation of the COVID-19 response plan which has ensured that all the health centres, several schools and public places in Banfora are equipped with handwashing facilities. The representative of the Regional Direction of Health, Teguera Ibrahim, expressed his relief but at the same time made a heartfelt appeal to the partners for sensitisation of the population on barrier gestures, especially handwashing. "It is one thing is to acquire the equipment but another to use it wisely", he said. 

At the same time, the communication strategy developed with the support of IRC for the benefit of the commune on mobilisation of partners and funds for the full implementation of the strategic WASH plan was submitted to the actors present. At the end of the meeting, this communication strategy as well as the five-year action plan 2021-2025 were unanimously validated by the participants, subject to a number of amendments.

All in all, this strategic partnership between the actors of the WASH sector, promoted by IRC, has attained considerable achievements over the last three years. The participants were proud and satisfied to see their joint efforts bearing fruit. The First Deputy Mayor of Banfora, Siaka Soulama, expressed it as follows: "We are happy with the changes achieved in the water and sanitation sector in our municipality. Since the arrival of IRC, the water and sanitation sector has been continuously improving. We therefore thank IRC and all our partners for their work. "He added: "The five-year plan belongs to all of us because the 2025 horizon is a challenge for us. Together we can improve performance. »

In any case, we will have to redouble our efforts, particularly in terms of mobilising financing in order to keep up the pace and achieve the vision of this strategic plan and its high ambitions.

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