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Interview with the mayor of Banfora

Published on: 23/03/2021

"We are very grateful to Oxfam and its partners who support us", Aboubakar Hema (Mayor of Banfora).

The mayor of Banfora during the interview

How did the partnership between the NGO Oxfam and the commune of Banfora come about? What was the contribution of the facilitator, IRC? What strategy will be the most appropriate to carry out the "Yelimani Ji" project in which Oxfam supports the commune of Banfora? Aboubakar Hema, mayor of the commune of Banfora, provided answers to these questions.

How do you feel about the partnership between your municipality and Oxfam, through the "Yelimani Ji" project?

Naturally, it is a feeling of joy and gratitude towards Oxfam, which has agreed to support us in the implementation of our strategic plan for water and sanitation by 2030. So, this is the place for me to express our gratitude to Oxfam and its partners who are accompanying us in the implementation of this project.

Is this the first time that Banfora town hall has received such support?

No, this is not the first time we have received this kind of support. We have received similar support from other partners and also from Oxfam in the past.

How did this partnership come about?

Since the establishment of our 2030 water and sanitation strategic plan, with the support of IRC, we identified several potential partners and approached Oxfam in 2018 and presented our strategic plan. Oxfam showed an interest in the plan and promised to support us in its implementation as much as possible. This interest has turned into actual support almost two years later.

What is the facilitator's contribution to the process that made the partnership with Oxfam possible?

The facilitator, IRC, plays a big role in the implementation of our 2030 strategic WASH plan. First in the identification of partners, and then in the coaching, they are behind us. They accompany and guide us. Their contribution is crucial in everything we do.

Is the facilitator, IRC, used to accompanying Banfora town hall or did it come on an ad hoc basis for this partnership operation?

I remember that in 2020, during the mid-term evaluation of our 2020 annual work plan, we sent a letter to Oxfam. They asked us to provide them with our expectations for this plan at a later stage. These periodic reviews set up by IRC allow us to follow this plan. This is not the first time that we have developed a strategic plan, but it is the first time that it is so well followed. This allows us to refer each time to other partners to assist us in the implementation of the plan.

What will be your strategy to successfully complete this partnership with Oxfam and to encourage others? 

Initially, the plan was to construct about thirty boreholes starting with ten in the first phase. The rest of the programme depends on the good execution of this project. We are really committed to playing our part in the proper execution of this project. So, we are also counting on IRC, which is our coach, to guide, accompany and advise us, so that this partnership will be fruitful.

What does this project mean for your commune and how will it benefit?

This project focuses on three strategic areas, namely the construction of infrastructure, the training of actors, and the improvement of the equipment of the municipal service in charge of water and sanitation. This support is very important for us because it will improve access to drinking water and sanitation in our commune. Moreover, within the framework of this project ten boreholes will be constructed. This is all part of our strategic plan, so it is a very important project for us. We hope that after this first phase, there will be a second and a third phase.

What is your message to the donor?

It is really a message of recognition, while asking them to always accompany us, to trust us. We are going to work to deserve this trust, for the happiness of the people.