Published on: 09/11/2023
IRC has been working in the district of Banfora since 2015. At that time, the district had no specific planning document for the water and sanitation sector that was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Although the town council had a technical department responsible for these issues, its technical and financial capacities were insufficient.
After three years working in consortium with Oxfam, IRC wanted to step up its support for the municipality by providing technical assistance to the town council on WASH. In 2017, this collaboration led to the drafting of a municipal master plan for the development of drinking water and sanitation services. This resulted in Banfora becoming the first municipality in Burkina Faso with a clear vision for achieving SDG 6 - water and sanitation for all by 2030. A set-up has been put in place to ensure that all the WASH partners in the district of Banfora are working together to achieve the master plan vision.
Since then, IRC has been helping the local authority to carry out an organisational and institutional assessment, as well as a development plan, in order to strengthen the institution and facilitate the achievement of the local authority's ambitions.
The aim is to improve the town hall's institutional performance by strengthening its technical, managerial and logistical skills. Organisational development activities have also been undertaken. As a result, the department responsible for water and sanitation has been renamed to Department of Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene, and now has two sub-departments and several employees.
To remedy other weaknesses, asset management tools, planning tools and tools for mobilising and managing internal and external partnerships, such as studies, training, seminars, workshops and meetings, have been implemented in parallel. The current management of WASH services at Banfora town hall is able to take action to find and manage partners and funding. This has facilitated the arrival of several NGOs to support the implementation of the master plan, such as Catholic Relief Services, Espace Culturel Gambidi and Oxfam, and renewed cooperation with partners Chauvigny and Pessac.
These partnerships have helped to strengthen the department's logistical capacity and the technical skills of its staff. As a result, the town council is gradually becoming more autonomous in managing issues relating to access to drinking water and sanitation. Through its technical department responsible for water and sanitation, Banfora town council is now implementing WASH projects for the benefit of its population, as illustrated in the video. However, the need for funding remains important because the costs of achieving the objectives of the master plan are huge and the rate of mobilisation is not sufficient.
What's more, the socio-political situation in Burkina Faso means that there are constant changes in the municipal authorities (including possible transfers of posts within the mayor's office) and the withdrawal of certain partners. As a result, the plan to build the technical capacity of local players must continue if we want to maintain constant and consistent progress. This means renewing technical support and continuing to build capacity, with the necessary support. This is essential if the progress made over the last five (5) years in Banfora is to be maintained.