Pathways out of Poverty for reservoir-dependent communities in Burkina Faso (POP-BF)

This project is active

Agriculture is the main economic activity in Burkina Faso but the rainfed growing season is only three to five months long. Small reservoirs can transform livelihoods by reducing dry season water constraints and opening up new fish, livestock, and crop production opportunities. Since the 1900s, over 700 water reservoirs have been established across the country. The inequitable distribution of water and other agricultural resources has led to stark inequalities in costs and benefits of reservoirs amongst households and communities.

The ‘Pathways out of Poverty for Reservoir-dependent Communities in Burkina Faso (POP-BF)’ project is creating sustainable management for two reservoirs in Boulgou province in Burkina Faso. Funded by the ESRC-DFID Development Frontiers Research Fund, the POP-BF project is implemented by a consortium between Bioversity International, University of Ouaga I, King’s College London, and SNV.

Working with communities facing poverty, declining common pool resources and rising tensions between competing users, POP-BF has the following objectives:

  1. Improve local stakeholders' knowledge and understanding of environmental limits on the community water reservoir, with current and future water use levels;
  2. Encourage, facilitate, and test the effect of inclusive and informed decision-making on individual and societal interests in reservoir management and benefit distribution;
  3. Co-develop community-driven innovations and solutions to resolve common pool resource management challenges and unequal benefit distribution among individuals, households and communities;
  4. Establish a locally owned low-cost, reliable system for monitoring the impacts of innovations on ecosystems and human well-being.

To achieve these objectives, the project brings together local reservoir users and resource managers, including women and men farmers and herders of different ethnic groups and local organisations in 'Innovation Platforms' (IPs), face-to-face spaces for learning, exchange and negotiation. Through the platforms,  stakeholders - some of whom experience conflicts of interests related to the reservoirs - identify and implement community-driven innovations to make the management of land and water, more inclusive and sustainable.

POP-BF will also use different methods including interviews, focus groups, and observation, to collect data on individual and households interests, concerns, and propositions regarding effective reservoir resource management. In collaboration with local communities and water management institutes, the project team will co-design and test locally relevant indicators and new data collection techniques to establish a reliable, locally owned reservoir monitoring system.

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Mansour Boundaogo

2SCALE Country Project Manager

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