Published on: 23/03/2021
Marc Kaboré: "Trust has been built between Oxfam and Banfora town hall”.
Marc Kaboré is responsible for the construction, resilience and humanitarian aid programme at Oxfam. In this interview, he talks about the relationship between Oxfam and Banfora town hall. After talking about the background of the meeting between the two organisations, he highlights the partnership between them to improve the situation of the population of Banfora.
How did the first contacts with Banfora town hall come about?
The first contacts with Banfora town hall go back a long way. First with Oxfam Quebec, which worked there until Oxfam became a confederation. From 2015 onwards, there was a WASH project which was part of an Ebola project. As part of the implementation of this project, the taxes we had paid to the state were reimbursed to us.
In 2020, we were invited by the town hall to participate in the annual review meeting. We liked the strategic plan that had been drawn up and we thought it would be a good opportunity to reinvest the tax money that had been refunded to us. It was about 36 million CFA francs. So, during this meeting, we informed the town hall of our intention to contribute to their efforts.
After the review, we tried to look for other sources of funding for the commune to help with the work it was doing. We were fortunate that we found a private individual prepared to donate money so that we could make a substantial investment in the water and sanitation sector for the benefit of the population of Banfora.
How was trust established between your organisation and the town hall?
Trust was established between Oxfam and Banfora town hall, firstly through the WASH strategic plan they drew up. This plan shows the vision that the town hall has for water and sanitation and we want to contribute to it. Secondly, our history with Banfora is quite long, and therefore everything we have done together proves that it is a worthy relationship. It is therefore good that we can continue to work with this commune.
Was there a facilitator for this process?
In terms of a facilitator, I would say no and yes. No, because nobody built the relationship between Oxfam and the town hall, it was already there. On the other hand, yes, because it was the Water Department of the town hall that came to us, to invite us to their annual review meeting in 2020. I think that was the starting point for this particular collaboration. Had we not been present at that review meeting, we would not have understood the importance of the work that the town hall was doing. And we would not have agreed to finance it, and even beyond that, to entrust the town hall with money so that it could implement this project. So actually the town hall was its own facilitator.
How long did it take to get the partnership off the ground?
I can say that it took 7-8 months. After our participation in the meeting, we continued the exchanges and sought funds to increase the amount which now stands at 81 million FCFA (146 000 USD) in total. In December 2020, we finalised our plan and in January 2021, we signed the agreement.
What is the nature of the partnership?
For us, this partnership is part of Oxfam's global principles where we work more with local partners because we believe that it is through these local partners that we can reach the targets. This is how everything we do will be sustainable. We believe the town hall will be able to do this. We accompany them and advise them so that everything happens as it should.
How do you intend to conduct this partnership and ensure its success?
To ensure the success of this partnership, we are first going to discuss with the town hall the dynamics in which we would like the plan to be implemented. Then, we will provide technical support to the town hall through our WASH manager who will, from time to time, interact with the water director so that together we can see how to implement this plan in a technical way. We also thought it would be good if we could strengthen the organisational and material capacities at the town hall. This will enable them to have enough equipment for the proper functioning of the town hall. Because, in the end, the town hall must be able to be autonomous and implement other projects.
What is the follow-up plan for this partnership?
In terms of a follow-up plan, together with the water department of the municipality, we intend to carry out regular monitoring and reviews at the end of the year to see how things are going. This will enable us to review what has worked and what has not and move forward.
By way of closing, I would like to thank IRC for helping the town hall build a vision around drinking water and sanitation. When we look at what has been done, we feel that there were quality technicians behind it. This is an opportunity for us to say thank you again to IRC for this support which will enable us to achieve the 2030 objectives for drinking water and sanitation.