Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

The mission of FBF is to promote good will, cross-cultural understanding and friendship between the people of the United States and Burkina Faso; to support grass-roots development projects in Burkina Faso; and to enrich lives of the citizens in both countries. Its Projects Committee serves as a vehicle to facilitate the organization's support of development activities. The Committee evaluates proposals, selects projects, monitors activities, and informs members about project developments.
Mar 16, 2015

Dancing With Joy

GLOBAL GIVING REPORT MARCH 2015: RAINWATER CATCHMENTS

“We Are Dancing With Joy!” Says Mariam R, a 59 year old grandmother in Sisene.  “We worked hard to build our basin six years ago and now have a little help to maintain it properly.  The engineer has met with us for the last three months and he now has developed a design to make our basin stronger. So we are dancing to celebrate strengthening the basin before the rains come.”  She continues: “Please thank your friends that are sending money.  They are wonderful. We wish them well and invite them to come visit us and see our success. They can stay with us and we can all dance together to celebrate.” After construction of this first rainwater catchment basin in Sisene, water was available every day of the year.  Gardening began being practiced on a large scale and has become permanent. Animal husbandry, fishing, development of small businesses, markets three times each week are now standard. Over 700 girls and boys are attending school in Sisene, more than double the number attending before the catchment basin was built!  Girls attend school because they no longer have to walk three hours a day to find water for their families.  This is the success we are replicating.

Community Building Group – West Africa (CBG-WA) is a registered NGO in Burkina Faso.  Just over one year ago, our Give Water Give Life program to build rainwater catchment basins began raising funds through GlobalGiving with the assistance of Friends of Burkina Faso.  It has been a terrific relationship.  On March 12, 2015, we reached our initial goal of $35,000 thanks to the generous support of you, our 1,240 GlobalGiving donors! Now please join us in ‘dancing with joy’.

Self-Help Enables Villagers. Over the last 5 months, we developed a partnership with Florida International University WA-WASH, a water and sanitation program for villages in Burkina Faso and Niger. The WA-WASH program provides services in sanitation, building latrines, and hygiene – all services that are complementary to our rainwater catchment basins program.   Field visits by the GWGL team have generated information about family structure, education, health, and economic activities in villages wanting a new rainwater catchment basin.  Data is also being collected on physical and institutional terrain and structures; farming methods; and GPS coordinates in order to effectively use satellite imagery. Villagers speak about their individual needs with respect to water and how they are truly ready and willing to work to have a new basin. One hundred fifty villages work with the WA-WASH program in Burkina Faso.  GWGL is analyzing the data, interviewing villagers, and determining how many of them might qualify to have a new rainwater catchment basin.

CBG-WA is building rainwater catchment basins in villages throughout Burkina Faso as fast as we have sufficient funds. A new rainwater catchment basin serving 2,000 village residents costs less than $50 per person.  Having water year round is critically important to the health and well-being of every resident in every village.  Global Giving makes it easy to donate and to share, providing great benefit to the villagers of Burkina Faso.

VILLAGE OF KAMSI.  The residents of Kamsi continue to meet with GWGL staff seeking guidance to build a new rainwater catchment basin in their village.  Seeing the success in Sisene has them eager to start building now.  According to the President of the Kamsi Community Association, his village once had an adequate water supply. However, there has been very little water for more than the last 10 years.  A rainwater catchment basin is sorely needed in Kamsi. The leader of the Women’s Agriculture Cooperative, speaking on behalf of her group, states: “If you help us build a basin, there will be a complete change.  There will be no labor out-migration and there will be many improvements.” 

An entire agriculturally based village can become healthier and economically self-sufficient through sustainable community development that a single rainwater catchment basin makes possible.  Give Water Give Life (GWGL) Project has a fine tuned product that requires each basin designed: meet local conditions; include local villagers’ leadership and participation; have a clay-based porosity lining (to restore the water aquifer and help raise the water table); have an emergency spillway; include solar-powered irrigation system, solar-powered filtration system, satellite imagery for optimum location placement; and data collection on overall health and nutrition. 

Global Giving donors are making it possible to build a basin in Kamsi. GWGL aims to construct this second basin in 2015.  Your suggestions on how to make the positive impacts of a rainwater catchment basin better understood will help attract more donors and investors. As a donor yourself, please tell us what attracted you to our program and what your interests are. (You may contact me at kmcdonald@givewatergivelife.org.) Please, your continued help is very much appreciated and your ideas are always welcome. 

Mariam R, 59 year old Grandmother in Sisene
Mariam R, 59 year old Grandmother in Sisene
Field Work GWGL Team Leader
Field Work GWGL Team Leader
Community Meeting - Village of Kamsi
Community Meeting - Village of Kamsi
Farming crops with rainwater catchment basin
Farming crops with rainwater catchment basin

Attachments:
Feb 24, 2015

A DOUBLE BENEFIT

Six of our 2014 scholarship recipients
Six of our 2014 scholarship recipients

A Double Benefit

 

Thanks to your generous support, these six young women (Haoua, Pascaline, Maimounata, Liliane, Hawa and Marietou) are in their first year of training at the National School for Primary School Teacher Training in Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso.  These serious and spirited young women are committed to their future careers as primary school teachers.   Upon completion of their two-year training, they will be assigned to village primary schools in their region, enabling the government to extend primary school education to additional villages: both an individual and a societal benefit of their educations.   

As these young women successfully approach the end of their first semester of training, they talk of their strong desire to “share their knowledge with children and help them in their education”.  As Hawa said, “Contributing to the education of young children is an immense joy for me”.  Haoua added that she plans to work with village parents, many of whom are illiterate, to encourage them to send their daughters as well as their sons to school, saying she will help parents with school costs when necessary and possible.   All of these future teachers have expressed great appreciation for the opportunity given them to achieve professional teacher training and have emphasized the importance of encouraging parents to enroll their children in primary school.

As young women supported by this project come from indigent farming families, their scholarships are the thread that enables them to gain access to teacher training.  Your support of young women like Haoua, Pascaline, Maimounata, Liliane, Hawa and Marietou enables them to reach their dream of becoming primary school teachers and enables the government to expand educational opportunities to a growing number of village primary schools.

We are most grateful for your support for primary school teacher training scholarships for all 14 young women this year.  Together, we hope to raise this number to 20 next school year.  As always, we welcome your questions and comments about any aspect of this project. (You can contact me at smplopper@aol.com).  And we invite you to share your knowledge and support for these young women with friends, family and colleagues.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Dec 15, 2014

"This Is Innovation! This Is Exactly What We Need!

School boy in his new garden in Sisene
School boy in his new garden in Sisene

The Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)/ Give Water Give Life (GWGL) Program - Rainwater Catchments: A Solution To Water Scarcity continues to advance its leadership role to increase the supply of water in the African Sahel.  Support from Global Giving donors enables our FBF/GWGL Project using the latest technology to make it possible for rural villagers to have a continuous supply of water effectuating economic development.

GWGL is pleased to announce formation of a partnership with WA-WASH, a non-profit organization affiliated with Florida International University, currently funded by USAID, and based in Ouagadougou.  WA-WASH provides villages services in water pumps, sanitation and hygiene - all benefits complementary to GWGL's program.  Give Water Give Life has our first employee, a Burkinabe engineer, as our Program Coordinator in Burkina Faso, and we are renting office space in the WA-WASH headquarters.  In addition, a team of local engineers has been organized to assist with the creation of  SaRP - a Sahel-led Resilient Prototype of village rainwater catchment basin.

Two tasks are underway.  The first priority for the use of accumulated GlobalGiving funds is to repair the basin built by GWGL in 2008 in the village of Sisene.  In 2012, a portion of this basin collapsed at one end due to strong storms.  The basin should have had an emergency spillway, known as a weir, that would have controlled water flow during heavy rains. Sisene residents tried to patch the breach in 2013, but they were not successul.  Currently, Burkina engineers are developing a plan to construct the weir and repair the damaged basin.  After obtaining estimates from several contractors, one will be chosen to implement construction.  Villagers participate directly in the selection process and the work.  Work is to be completed before the next rainy season, which wil begin in June 2015.

Second is the design of the prototype village rainwater catchment basin (SaRP). The prototype includes in its design: a weir (emergency spillway); use of satellite imagery technology to determine the most appropriate field location of the basin; technology to maximize water yse; deternination of the correct porosity needed to help restore the water aquifer; an irrigation system; a water filtration system; and a solar/wind system to generate power.  Applied research methods and alternative engineering and agricultural technologies are being analyzed to determine the best design of the "prototype" village rainwater catchment basin.  Both the rain collection basin in Sisene and the concrete bouli (pond) in the village of Djonga are included in the study.  Partners in the design process include the villagers; local engineers; representatives from the National Institute of Agricultural Research in Burkina Faso (INERA); the Burkina Faso Departments of Agriculture and Water; private solar engineering and water irrigation companies; university graduate students; and individuals. GWGL is convinced that collaboration among our partners is key to the creation of high impact solutions..

In October, a GWGL team member spoke about SaRP village rainwater catchment basins with technology at the UN Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa held in Marrakesh, Morocco.  Many attendees from other African countries expressed interest in village rainwater catchment basins for their own villages.  There is strong interest in the Give Water Give Life program due to the positive effects it has to improve the availability of water.  Researchers and practitioners at the Conference also affirmed the need to have contributions of villagers in the program.  Pressure to advance development of the prototype village rainwater catchment basin is building.

During visits with the INERA representatives and the village farmers in the village of Djonga, located in the northern desert area of Dori, we had extensive discussions about the appropriate design of the prototype basin.  The assistant director and water engineer with INERA enthusiasticaly stated:  "This is INNOVATION!  The technology you can bring us is innovation! We can now create rainwater catchment basins that will not only hold water year-round, but that are resilient and can be sustained by the villagers themselves.  I am working now for over 30 years as a water engineer in rural villages in Burkina and I know that this is exactly what we need!"

Thank you so much GlobalGiving partners!  Your support is critically important.

GWGL Burkina Faso Team Members
GWGL Burkina Faso Team Members
Sisene brothers on repair that is insufficient
Sisene brothers on repair that is insufficient
Gardener in village of Djonga
Gardener in village of Djonga
INERA PhD and Farmer in desert village
INERA PhD and Farmer in desert village
Sisene Elder so appreciative of water support
Sisene Elder so appreciative of water support
 
   

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