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Banfora is playing its cards right

Published on: 06/07/2020

The Municipality of Banfora has set up a new Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene Department.

Office of the Municipal Technical Services Department of Banfora (Photo IRC Burkina)

In its drive to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, the municipality of Banfora, with the support of IRC Burkina, has set up a Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene Department, replacing the Water and Sanitation Technical Department. This decision, taken on 5 June 2020, with the aim of enabling the commune to fully ensure its leadership while strengthening its technical service, was realised through articles 68, 69 and 70 of section N°6 of the decree N°2020-031/ CBFR relating to the organisation of the services for the municipality of Banfora.

Banfora - a national reference

As in other African countries, drinking water and sanitation services have been decentralised and in Burkina Faso they have been delegated to the Territorial Communities (TC). As a result, the commune, which is now the contracting authority for water and sanitation, is in charge of providing the population with adequate and sustainable services. Thus, the commune of Banfora, aware of this major challenge, and driven by its ambition to stand out as a national reference, has equipped itself with a programmatic tool, a strategic plan for water and sanitation services.

Quality services

The implementation of this strategic plan depends heavily on the leadership of the mayor and the set-up of the Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Technical Department. To take up this challenge and with the intention of offering quality services to its population, the commune of Banfora commissioned, with the support of IRC Burkina, an assessment of the technical department. The result of the assessment was a proposal for a new organisation with a three-year action plan for implementation.

In order to make the Technical Department more operational, and in line with the recommendations of the assessment, the Municipality of Banfora has now set up a Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene Department. This Department consists of two sub-departments, one for water, wastewater and excreta and the other for health and public hygiene. The Department will be a major support for the commune in the implementation of its strategic plan, through monitoring and coordination.

The members of the Department for Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene of Banfora together with the Mayor (Photo IRC Burkina)

"The Department will therefore be solely responsible for the implementation of the municipality's strategic plan but will also play an inspection role in wastewater and excreta management. Secondly, the Department must ensure that in public places, the works are well managed, hygiene rules are respected in order to protect the health of users, check that faecal sludge is managed properly and sanction those who do not respect the rules”, said the mayor of Banfora, Mr. Aboubakar HEMA. He emphasised the responsibilities of each segment of the Department which are essential for a successful operation which has to achieve the set objectives.

Working together

The organisational principles and the regrouping of services are all meant to achieve one common objective which is: to make the commune of Banfora a national and even international reference for access to drinking water and sanitation by 2030.

The need for an efficient, responsive and supportive management of water and sanitation services has never been greater. Moreover, and each player is aware of this, the success of this project will depend heavily on staff performance and the quality of the services. They will have to meet the ambitions and commitments of the Municipality. One of the first commitments has been the acquisition of a mobile drilling workshop. The mobile workshop with a device capable of drilling at a depth of more than 80 m has been acquired for 210 million FCFA. A short ceremony to inaugurate the mobile workshop was held on June 2, 2020 in the presence of several stakeholders in the sector. The mobile workshop will help in the construction of boreholes in all villages of the commune and improve access to water.

Drilling device on the mobile workshop of the Municipality of Banfora (Photo Communication Service Banfora Municipality)

Capacity and commitment

The Mayor said that: "Having such a mobile drilling workshop within the commune will also make it easier for donors to carry out construction work. It will enable them to fulfil their commitments in the best possible way, and the Department responsible will be in charge of maintenance and management of this mobile drilling workshop".

An assessment of capacity building needs and technical and/or financial support has already been done. This assessment and subsequent analysis will make it possible to identify actions to be implemented to optimise the organisation.