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Spooner, K, 2011 –– Implementation of the national IWRM policy, Burkina Faso, West Africa

Katie Spooner (United Kingdom)

Katie Master of Integrated Water Management studentBurkina Faso is a dry, landlocked country with very few natural resources. In 2009 it was ranked 177 out of 182 countries on the human development index. It faces serious issues in terms of water supply, and this is exacerbated by climatic variability, increased population pressure and poverty.

In 2003 the government launched an IWRM program which, in two phases, would restructure Burkina’s water management structure to a basin management approach and implement a national water management program by 2015. In addition, Burkina Faso works under a system of decentralised system for the delivery of water and sanitation and as a result local or ‘commune’ governments are the duty bearers for water and sanitation.

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Communes are generally made up of a central peri-urban area surrounded by rural villages, requiring the inclusion of both rural and urban water management approaches. Commune governments often struggle to meet the national requirements for water and sanitation due to under resourced technical, human and financial capacities.

Katie's research looked at the implementation of the national IWRM policy, then at the beginning of its second phase, through the perspective of the commune of Ouargaye. Ouargaye is a commune in the south east of Burkina Faso, near the border of Togo.

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The research carried out semi structured interviews and focus group discussions to identify the capacity constraints of the commune government and how these were affected by the inter-institutional relationships with central, regional and community level institutions. The research contributed to the wider project of the NGO Katie was working with, looking at how local governments can facilitate community-based water resource management.

> Read more about Katie's professional background


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