Climate adaptation knowledge sharing with local communities.

Climate adaptation knowledge sharing with local communities.

USAID WA-WASH conducted a series of workshops to strengthen the capacity of policy makers on integrating climate risks and adaptation into water resource planning and management in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Niger.  The main objective was to ensure the mainstreaming of climate change into WASH policies and practices.  Over 246 decision makers benefited from these trainings.  Mr. Maliki Ouédraogo, one of participants, respectively participated as a representative of SOS Sahel International to an initial training in June 2013, and a refresher training in February 2015, on integrating climate change adaptation into development strategies. He is the Coordinator of the decentralized cooperation project between Dédougou (Burkina Faso) and the city of Douai (France).  Based on the knowledge gained through the climate change trainings, Mr. Ouédraogo convinced the Special Delegation members (former municipality) of the commune of Dédougou to implement two reforestation projects.  As a follow-up to the climate change trainings, Mr. Ouédraogo intends to help the population of the commune of Dédougou integrate climate change adaptation into their development actions and strategies.  He organized a meeting with the members of the Special Delegation of the commune of Dédougou (see Photo 1). “The content of the training on climate change was the discussion topic with the members of the Special Delegation and village development committees (VDC) during the elaboration of the development plan of the municipality of Dédougou“.  The presentation made by Mr. Ouédraogo, to the Special Delegation members and the leaders of various village development committees, brought awareness of the downside risks of climate change to their environment.

With soils conducive to the practice of agriculture and livestock, the Boucle du Mouhoun is one of the regions that benefit from a good rainfall in Burkina Faso.  However there is an increased pressure on the environment in order to increase farmlands for agricultural production.  This situation contributes to degrade the environment and compromise the living conditions of people.  In some villages like Zéoulé and Kamendena, people do not hesitate to make a link between the gradual disappearance of orchard trees and the phenomenon of climate change.  To cope with the effects of these changes, people from these villages initiated some micro reforestation projects.

At Kamendena, the village development committee (with the collaboration of teachers), implemented the “reforestation project at the primary school of Kamendena”.  This project aims to plant 1,350 trees (fruit and medicinal trees) around the primary school.  According to the executive members of the village development committee, this initiative has the advantage of also educating students about environemental protection and especially tree protection.  As added benefit, selling the fruits collected from these trees will increase the income of the school management committee (COGES, in french).  For the sustainability of this project, the village development committee organized the people into small groups that ensure the maintenance and monitoring of trees planted until the pupils take over at the beginning of the academic year.  In the dry season, the presence of well-borehole in the school will facilitate the watering of plants.  The village development committee of Zéoulé dug garden wells to ensure that plants are watered during the dry season due to the absence of such infrastructure in the vicinity of the project intervention area in this village (see Photo 2).  Both village development committees have plans to replace the plants that will not survived beyond the first year.

To ensure the success of these two initiatives, the local authorities have committed to monitor its implementation.  SOS Sahel International assured the management of the project and the municipality officer in charge of environmental matters conducted regular monitoring visits.  To encourage emulation by other stakeholders, prizes will be granted by SOS Sahel International to the best reforestation sites according to its principle of “reforestation by contract”.  The NGO introduced this practice in its climate chance adaptation strategies.  This helps to improve plant survival rate which is over 70%.  These two initiatives are funded by the project for decentralized cooperation between Dédougou (Burkina Faso) and the city of Douai (France) with a total budget of 900,000 CFA francs for the village of Zéoulé and 630,000 CFA francs for the village of Kamendena.  The approach developed by Mr. Ouédraogo, based on the training he received from USAID WA-WASH, illustrates that from awareness campaigns supported by local authorities, communities can give more importance to climate change issues.  This awarness raising is also a guarantee to the success of initiatives that could be developed in order to adapt to the effects of climate change.

At Barago (Zinder region in Niger), the chief of village made the commitment to maintain the ODF status of his community

At Barago (Zinder region in Niger), the chief of village made the commitment to maintain the ODF status of his community

The rate of access to improved sanitation in Niger was only at 4% in rural areas, against 9% for the national level in 2012.  During its Phase I in this country, the efforts of the USAID WA-WASH Program contributed to increase the sanitation access rate through the promotion of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.

Barago (in Zinder region) is one of the villages that benefited from the Program’s CLTS activities. Through this approach, USAID WA-WASH intended to improve the living conditions of people in its intervention areas. Before the USAID WA-WASH Program activities, most of the population in the village used nature for their natural needs.  The chief of the village remembers this situation which created many diarrheal diseases especially among children.  “These diseases had bad consequences on the life of our community members.  In addition to children, women were very affected by the problem. When their children were sick, they were obliged to give up on some income generating activities to take care of them”, affirm chief of the village.

Nowadays, things have positively changed at Barago thanks to the awareness activities, the construction and the use of 36 CLTS latrines, and the support of the USAID WA-WASH Program.  The chief of the village played an important role in the building of latrines by supporting awareness activities.  According to him: “Since the USAID WA-WASH Program has started working with us, our village has become clean.  Nowadays, everyone uses latrine for his natural needs.  The village has a water and sanitation management committee.”  He also supports the management committee to encourage the community members maintaining a good sanitation status in the village.  The effort done by all the community members of Barago has helped to certified open defecation free.  “Thanks to USAID WA-WASH Program, we have less disease and fewer problems related to sanitation and hygiene” as told by the village chief Barago.

A farmer with disability, in the village of Koudiéré, practiced climate Smart Agriculture Techniques to improve the food security of his family

A farmer with disability, in the village of Koudiéré, practiced climate Smart Agriculture Techniques to improve the food security of his family

Food security activities promotion was an important component of the Phase I of the USAID WA-WASH Program.  The objective of this component was to help the beneficiaries increase their yields through the adoption of new agricultural practices using the climate smart agriculture (CSA) approach.  Through this approach, the Program intended to improve the food security of the target populations and those around them. In Burkina Faso, many farmers benefited from trainings related to the CSA approach.

Mr. Sambo Kaboré is one of the 20 farmers from the village of Koudiéré (Central region of Burkina Faso) who participated in the CSA training organized by USAID WA-WASH in 2014.  After the training, Sambo started to apply the zaï technique, one of the techniques learned during the training.  Although he had difficulties implementing the CSA approach due to his disability – Sambo uses a wheel chair – what he was able to accomplish was incredible due to his determination.

In charge of eleven persons, Sambo says: “Despite my disability, I continue my efforts to use the zaï technique.  I have been using this technique for three years and I have better yields.  With the traditional technique, my harvests never exceeded 60 kg on white corn.  The zaï technique is so helpful that I have increased the size of my farm and I no longer have to buy additional corn to feed my family.”  In 2016, he applied the zaï technique on his white corn field.  At the end of crop year 2016, Sambo harvested 450 kg of white corn, almost eight time more his harvest from his traditional field using the same area.  According to Sambo, the zaï technique has many advantages including better water retention, less manure per area, etc. In addition to the income generated from the additional corn and groundnut production, his gardening activity (cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers) help Sambo pay school children’s school tuitions and address his family health issues. “I am grateful to USAID WA-WASH for the opportunity it gave me to improve my living conditions and to provide more food security to my family”, concluded Sambo.

Aquatabs: An income generating activity in Niger

Aquatabs: An income generating activity in Niger

In Niger, access rate to drinking water and sanitation remains low.  According to the Joint Monitoring Program 2013 report, 100% of the urban population had access to improved water facilities as of December 2011 and the percentage of the rural population with access was 39%.  As stated in the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Rural Development Strategy, drinking water supply for the population is a major problem and its improvement is one of the main priorities of the Government.

The support of some partners like USAID WA WASH Program helped to increase the access rate to drinking water through the promotion and sale of Aquatabs.  During its Phase I, USAID WA-WASH promoted Aquatabs in two regions including the region of Maradi, through ANIMAS SUTURA, a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) specialized in social marketing.

Aquatabs promoting and selling activities have become an income generating activity for many women in Maradi, like Amina Harouna living in the village of Guidan Gamou Bamba.  According to her, before the introduction of Aquatabs in the village, the population faced a number of problems.  Untreated water consumption was the cause of many waterborne diseases and infant mortality.  This situation remained for a long time a barrier to income generating activities for women.  In Guidan Gamou Bamba, many women like Amina Harouna went through the same difficulties.  Due to the support of USAID WA-WASH, Amina Harouna’s life has changed positively.  Nowadays, she is promoting and selling Aquatabs: «Behavior change is difficult in our communities.  When I started Aquatabs promotion, few people believed in the product efficiency.  But advocacy led people to accept using it.  I can sell an average of 200 tablets per month during the good times, but towards the end of dry season, selling becomes difficult.» says Amina Harouna.

Today, Aquatabs promotion and sale has allowed Amina Harouna to be very useful to her community members, mainly women. Because of the use of Aquatabs, most of women have more time for other activities like sheep and goats raising.  The income generated from these activities allowed them to face some of their family needs.  Amina Harouna welcomes the positive changes generated by the introduction of Aquatabs and the treatment of water at the household level.

Access to clean water through Low Cost Technologies: some private initiatives to address the needs of the populations of the Centre-Ouest region, in Burkina Faso

Access to clean water through Low Cost Technologies: some private initiatives to address the needs of the populations of the Centre-Ouest region, in Burkina Faso

During Phase I (2011-2015), USAID WA-WASH subsidized the installation of rope pumps for populations in its intervention areas.  In the Center-West region of Burkina Faso, some people took the personal initiative to improve their traditional wells and purchased rope pumps to gain access to potable water in their homes.  Given the advantages they gain from these rope pumps, these people do not regret the investment they made.

Located in the rural municipality of Ténado, the villages of Koukouldi, Tialgo, Doudou, and Poun do not yet possess a piped system for potable water.  Traditional wells and boreholes are the main drinking water supply sources for the populations of these villages.  However, because of some factors, such as breakdowns of borehole pumps and the great pressure (drinking water and water for productive use) put on water resources, water is not always available in sufficient quantity and good quality for the populations.

Living in Koukouldi, Ebou Kamouni and her family chose, in 2014, to drill a well and set it up with a rope pump. The total cost of the drilling and the rope pump came to 750 000 FCFA.  Before the installation of this water point, Ebou recalls the ordeal she and her family members underwent daily to satisfy their water needs: “Before we installed the rope pump, we used to travel several kilometers looking for water in wells or boreholes.  It was very tiring, especially for us women and our girls, because we put in so much time to get the water we needed.”

According to Ebou , the consumption of the water from the open well during the rainy season increases the children’s risk of suffering from water-related sicknesses.  Indeed, most of the wells were not protected, and the water from the rain carried many contaminants which polluted the villages’ drinking water sources.

Sicne they started using the improved well outfited with the rope pump, Ebou’s family members noticed an improvement in their health conditions.  “With the rope pump, we consume good quality water and our children no longer fall sick. Also, since we no longer keep water in containers, we reduced the risk of contamination in storage and avoided the proliferation of mosquitoes” says Ebou.

In order to save for repairs when the rope pump breaks down, Ebou’s family members and the neighboring families that use the rope pump have a savings box supplied by small monthly contributions from all users.

Moreover, some women estimate that the constant availability of water enables them to spend more time on their income-generating activities.  Such is the case of Marceline Bakala who states: “Even if we are not at home, our husbands do not need to wait for us to have water for showering.  They help themselves from the rope pump and can then go pursue other activities while we do the same.”

The benefits of the rope pumps are not only perceived in households but also in public places.  In the village of Doudou, the Muslim community members’ contributions and the support from external partners have allowed them to raise 700 000 FCFA and install a rope pump in their mosque grounds.

According to Zakaria Bayili, the General Secretary of this community, the rope pump is very useful to the Muslims of this community: “religiously speaking, it is important to use clean water for one’s ablutions.  Thanks to the rope pump, we no longer use water from wells located in gardens.  People living near the mosque help themselves from our rope pump to get clean drinking water.

The availability of drinking water in schools is an essential factor for pupils’ attendance to school, as they spend almost all the daytime there, being relieved from water fetching needs. In villages such as Poun and Tialgo, the pupils of the primary school quench their thirst from the rope pumps funded thanks to a partnership with the Finisterian Association for the Development of Sanguié (AFIDESA).

Manégré Bonkoungou, the Head of the primary school of the village, tells about the advantages of the rope pump for his pupils: “Honestly speaking, the rope pump is of great help to our pupils.  Thanks to this pump, they no longer need to go back home when they are thirsty.  They immediately have water and are in good conditions to assimilate the courses we transmit to them.”  In addition to its drinking water for his pupils, Manégré Bonkoungou plans to use water from the rope pump for irrigating the school garden, in order to educate the pupils in gardening.

These personal initiatives testify to the importance that the populations’ give to the low-cost technologies promoted by USAID WA-WASH.  While these low–cost technologies might not be adapted to all conditions, we believe that they can help a number of people in rural areas gain access to clean water until a more permanent solution is found.  This innovative and inexpensive technology promoted by the Program has proved itself an alternative solution for access to potable water.  In addtion, it has helped the manufcatuers of these pumps increase their income and employ more people.

The importance of awareness activities in the promotion of Aquatabs in rural areas

The importance of awareness activities in the promotion of Aquatabs in rural areas

In its intervention areas, USAID WA-WASH contributed to improve the living conditions of many people through the promotion of Aquatabs (a drinking water treatment product).  In Niger, the particularity of many villages like Djigaré, Koutoukalé Koiré-Zéno, Koutoukalé, Koire-Tégui, Zama Koire Tégui, and Zama Koire Zeno is that they are located along the Niger River which is the drinking water source for these communities.

 

To convince people of the usefulness of Aquatabs and to facilitate its availability, through ANIMAS-SUTURA, USAID WA-WASH trained and deployed community volunteers in these villages.  More than 18 months after the completion of the program in Niger, community volunteers are still conducting Aquatabs promotion and sale activities within their communities during community ceremonies such as weddings, child naming, and women association activities.

 

The promotion activities and the advantages of treating water at home are encouraging people to use Aquatabs continuously.  In addition to community radio messages, community volunteers are also conducting door-to-door promotions to sensitize people on the importance of sanitation, hand washing, and water treatment.  For many women living in the villages located along the Niger river, Aquatabs use contributed to making the members of their household less prone to water-borne diseases.  In the past, many people were suffering from diseases like cholera.

The awareness activities supported by USAID WA-WASH contributed to a positive behavior change within the villages.  According to Mr. Kadi Koda Ismaël, nurse in Koutoukale Koire Tegui in the municipality of Karma: “Since villagers have been using Auqatabs, we have not had any case of cholera in our health district.  This was not the case before we introduced Aquatabs.”  The same thing has been reported by a number of other people including Ms. Aissa Moukeila from the village of Djigare.

In Niger, the promotion of Aquatabs activities supported by USAID WA-WASH during its Phase I allowed the sale of 5.091 million Aquatabs that were used to treat over 101 million liters of drinking water.

In the village of Majeri in the region of Zinder, in Niger, the community members installed a water point management committee that meets their needs.

In the village of Majeri in the region of Zinder, in Niger, the community members installed a water point management committee that meets their needs.

During its Phase I in Niger, USAID WA-WASH promoted low cost technologies to provide people with sustainable water access.  As a result, 120 drinking water points were installed or rehabilitated in the region of Zinder.

In each village, the Program advocated for the creation of a water point management committee (COGES in French).  Elected by the community, each committee (composed of men and women) has to ensure the collection of monthly contributions estimated at 150 FCFA per household.  This amount will help pay for the repairs of the community pump in case of breakdowns and its maintenace.  The committee has been functional since the installation of the pump and its members have shown an extraordinary capacity to manage it effectively through the adoption of some technical measures.  Their activities have helped reduce the duration of the pump breakdowns and avoid the interruption of water supply to the community.  As of September 2016, the committee has savings of 48,000 CFA in its account  to addrtess any maintenance or breakdown issues.

To raise money, the committee developed an innovative approach which consists of the collection of a small quantity of bean per household after crops are harvested.  This simple and smart method allows the committee to sell the beans to generate more money for the maintenance and the repairs of the water point to ensure an interupted water supply for the community.

Moreover, the male members of the committee have also observed a strong leadership from women in the management of the water point.  According to Ms. Mariam, an resident of Majeri: “Women are the first concerned with the water issues.  By involving them in the water point management, our community aims to ensure the sustainability of this important water facility.  We, women are very happy to be included in the management of the pump.  This enables us to raise awareness on the importance of taking care of the pump.”

Production and processing of moringa: 16 producers from Niger are cross-learning from the experience of the Koukouldi women group in Burkina Faso.

Production and processing of moringa: 16 producers from Niger are cross-learning from the experience of the Koukouldi women group in Burkina Faso.

From  May 30 to June 3 2016, a study tour took place in Koukouldi, Centre-Ouest region of Burkina Faso, for the benefit of 16 future moringa producers from the Doutchi region of Niger.  The group of farmers from Doutchi visit was funded by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD).  Through this study tour, CAFOD aimed to help these producers learn about moringa production and processing from the experience of a group of women created with the support of USAID WA-WASH in Koukouldi.

Nicknamed “tree of paradise” in many local languages in Africa, moringa is a plant with multiple nutritional and therapeutic properties.  In some West African countries, such as Burkina Faso and Niger, people are interested in moringa because of the various income-generating activities that they can develop from this plant.

The 16 producers (eight men and eight women) were able to familiarize themselves with the moringa production and processing practiced by the women’s group of Koukouldi who benefited from the support of USAID WA-WASH.

The support of USAID WA-WASH to the Koukouldi women’s group began in 2013, with the introduction of the approach of water  Multiple Uses Services (MUS.  In addition to providing drinking water to populations, the MUS approach has the advantage of providing water for other domestic and productive uses such as irrigation.

The MUS approach helped 97 members of the Koukouldi women’s group to turn moringa production into an income generating activity.  Under the direction of Mrs. Pauline Kangoro (President), members of this group specialized in the production and processing of moringa.  Today, they produce various products derived from the Moringa tree. “In addition to seeds, dried leaves, and moringa powder, our group produced soap, creams, and ointments the sale of which generate revenues for our members,” says Pauline Kangoro.

Mr. Zakari Saley Bana, who is in charge of the food security program at CAFOD, gives the reasons that motivated the organization of this study trip for the benefit of these 16 producers: “Moringa is a plant much prized in Niger. As part of the integrated food security project (PISA in French) implemented by CAFOD in the Doutchi region, we intend to introduce the cultivation of moringa to improve food security and help develop the income-generating activities through the production and processing of moringa in eight communities in this region.  We initiated this study tour so that producers in this region can draw on the experience of the USAID WA-WASH women’s group of Koukouldi.”

It is the lessons learned and overall experience of USAID WA-WASH that CAFOD intended to share with the study tour participants.  Visits to fields of moringa, as well as exchanges and demonstration sessions, allowed them to become familiar with the various steps relating to the production and processing of moringa.

Like Mrs. Bibata Mata from the village of Doroji (Kieche municipality of Niger), participants in the study tour were delighted to have acquired new knowledge that they are going to share with their community members “I am pleasantly surprised by the good work done by the women of Koukouldi.  Back in Niger, we will inform and educate members of my community on the benefits that we can draw from the production and the processing of moringa here in Burkina Faso.  I thank CAFOD for this experience that allowed me to learn from what others have accomplished.”

For CAFOD, this study tour is just a small step in the support it intends to provide to the producers from Niger.  “We are going to encourage these 16 producers and their communities to implement what they have learned from this study tou and the cross learning from USAID WA-WASh investment in this arear.  We intend to make available all the material necessary for the conduct of this new income generating activity that is offered by producing and processing moringa”, said Mr. Bana.

During a short interaction with the study tour participants and the head of CAFOD food security program, Dr. Boukerrou, Regional Director of the USAID WA-WASH Program emphasized the importance of managing knowledge generated during the 1st Phase  of the Program and sharing the lessons learned from the implementation of the Program activities with various institutions/organizations in the region.  He encouraged the CAFOD participants to apply what they have learned from this study tour and to continue the interaction with the beneficiaries of the USAID WA-WASH Program in Burkina Faso.

Aquatabs: An income generating activity in Niger

In Niger, access rate to drinking water and sanitation remains low.  According to the Joint Monitoring Program 2013 report, 100% of the urban population had access to improved water facilities as of December 2011 and the percentage of the rural population with access was 39%.  As stated in the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Rural Development Strategy, drinking water supply for the population is a major problem and its improvement is one of the main priorities of the Government.

The support of some partners like USAID WA WASH Program helped to increase the access rate to drinking water through the promotion and sale of Aquatabs.  During its Phase I, USAID WA-WASH promoted Aquatabs in two regions including the region of Maradi, through ANIMAS SUTURA, a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) specialized in social marketing.

Aquatabs promoting and selling activities have become an income generating activity for many women in Maradi, like Amina Harouna living in the village of Guidan Gamou Bamba.  According to her, before the introduction of Aquatabs in the village, the population faced a number of problems.  Untreated water consumption was the cause of many waterborne diseases and infant mortality.  This situation remained for a long time a barrier to income generating activities for women.  In Guidan Gamou Bamba, many women like Amina Harouna went through the same difficulties.  Due to the support of USAID WA-WASH, Amina Harouna’s life has changed positively.  Nowadays, she is promoting and selling Aquatabs: «Behavior change is difficult in our communities.  When I started Aquatabs promotion, few people believed in the product efficiency.  But advocacy led people to accept using it.  I can sell an average of 200 tablets per month during the good times, but towards the end of dry season, selling becomes difficult.» says Amina Harouna.

Today, Aquatabs promotion and sale has allowed Amina Harouna to be very useful to her community members, mainly women. Because of the use of Aquatabs, most of women have more time for other activities like sheep and goats raising.  The income generated from these activities allowed them to face some of their family needs.  Amina Harouna welcomes the positive changes generated by the introduction of Aquatabs and the treatment of water at the household level.

At Barago (Zinder region in Niger), the chief of village made the commitment to maintain the ODF status of his community

The rate of access to improved sanitation in Niger was only at 4% in rural areas, against 9% for the national level in 2012.  During its Phase I in this country, the efforts of the USAID WA-WASH Program contributed to increase the sanitation access rate through the promotion of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.

Barago (in Zinder region) is one of the villages that benefited from the Program’s CLTS activities. Through this approach, USAID WA-WASH intended to improve the living conditions of people in its intervention areas. Before the USAID WA-WASH Program activities, most of the population in the village used nature for their natural needs.  The chief of the village remembers this situation which created many diarrheal diseases especially among children.  “These diseases had bad consequences on the life of our community members.  In addition to children, women were very affected by the problem. When their children were sick, they were obliged to give up on some income generating activities to take care of them”, affirm chief of the village.

Nowadays, things have positively changed at Barago thanks to the awareness activities, the construction and the use of 36 CLTS latrines, and the support of the USAID WA-WASH Program.  The chief of the village played an important role in the building of latrines by supporting awareness activities.  According to him: “Since the USAID WA-WASH Program has started working with us, our village has become clean.  Nowadays, everyone uses latrine for his natural needs.  The village has a water and sanitation management committee.”  He also supports the management committee to encourage the community members maintaining a good sanitation status in the village.  The effort done by all the community members of Barago has helped to certified open defecation free.  “Thanks to USAID WA-WASH Program, we have less disease and fewer problems related to sanitation and hygiene” as told by the village chief Barago.