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reliefweb - 1 month ago

Burkina Faso: strengthening drinking water service resilience

Country: Burkina Faso Source: Solidarités International By the Direction of Operations for SOLIDARIT E S INTERNATIONAL in Burkina Faso. SOLIDARIT E S INTERNATIONAL is working alongside GRET, Groupe URD and ONEA to develop operating procedures to maintain and strengthen water supply services in Burkina Faso despite the security crisis. SECURITY CRISIS PUTS A STRAIN ON WATER ACCESS Over the past three years, Burkina Faso has seen a substantial increase in humanitarian needs as a result of dramatically deteriorating security conditions. The last few months have been trying as conditions have further deteriorated in several regions (Sahel, Nord, Centre-Nord and Est). And with intensifying conflicts come significant population movements: the current tally stands at over 1 million internally displaced persons, the majority of whom are concentrated in urban centres where the sudden population growth is placing an acute strain on water supply services. In some areas the strain is particularly severe, with over 1,200 people per modern water point* despite a national norm of 300 maximum. In these cases, the influx of displaced persons has caused water supply needs to triple. The situation is compounded by an increase in infrastructure breakdowns as public authorities and State representatives (frequent targets of terrorist attacks) have often partially or totally withdrawn their teams from intervention zones. AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH RECONCILING EMERGENCY AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Faced with the urgent need for a more integrated and sustainable response to the Sahelian humanitarian crisis, SOLIDARIT E S INTERNATIONAL, GRET, Groupe URD and Burkina Faso s National Bureau of Water and Sanitation (ONEA) have joined forces to develop and deploy an innovative approach combining emergency response and development strategies. The goal is to maintain and strengthen public water services in vulnerable areas particularly those areas where forcibly displaced persons are most heavily concentrated. Dubbed The Project to Strengthen Resilience of Public Drinking Water Services in Crisis Contexts (P2RSP) and carried out with funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) and USAID, the initiative aims to plan and coordinate investments and operations in emergency situations, bolstered by a long-term strategy entailing verification that public service principles (pricing and equity of access) are upheld in the short and medium term. This approach should help strengthen the resilience of public drinking water supply services in five metropolitan areas in the country s Nord (Titao, Ouahigouya, Oula and Seguenega) and Centre-Nord (Kongoussi) regions. The project has the following three objectives: Build the capacity of ONEA and municipalities to organize, fund and maintain water services amidst a humanitarian and security crisis. Maintain and strengthen public water supply service performance in terms of coverage, organization, management, and technical, financial and commercial monitoring. Monitor, evaluate, capitalize and disseminate methodologies developed and lessons learned with a view to possible replication in Burkina Faso s main urban centres hosting forcibly displaced persons. The project is helmed by SOLIDARIT E S INTERNATIONAL (project leader) and GRET, in collaboration with institutional and operational partners such as ONEA and municipalities. Groupe URD will carry out a monitoring-evaluation and capitalization mission in close collaboration with SOLIDARIT E S INTERNATIONAL and GRET. A MODEL FOR FUTURE INTERVENTIONS This innovative project, which seeks to define and operationalize the emergency-development nexus in the drinking water sector, is the first of its kind. If successful, it could ultimately spur significant practical and organizational changes to the sector in Burkina Faso. The AFD and USAID see the project as a high-impact regional pilot with the potential for replication in other countries.


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