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Clean Water Project in Burkina Faso

Implemented in Coordination with

The BARKA Foundation


the Village of Tantiaka, Gourma Province, Burkina Faso

March 2010


The BARKA Foundation c/o Ina & Esu P.O. Box 69 Housatonic, MA 01236 Phone: 413-446-7466

Fondation BARKA  c/o Anne Moffett 12 BP 204 Ouagadougou 12 Burkina Faso, West Africa Phone: 011 226 70 55 29 71 • • skype: esuina

The MDGs recognize the centrality of water and sanitation in poverty reduction… Achieving these targets will also contribute significantly to other Millennium Development Goals including Education, Child Mortality, Gender Equality, Maternal Health, and Fight Against Disease.”

-His Excellency Thomas Stelzer, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations


The strategic focus of this project is to provide clean water access to a small village in the bush of Burkina Faso and to jumpstart a 2-year project aimed at determining best practices for achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

The primary strategy for achieving MDGs in Burkina Faso is to focus on creating accessibility to safe drinking water. CLEAN WATER is the lowest common denominator, the single most important element that is directly or indirectly integrated with all MDGs.
When a village has clean water:

Women don’t have to walk for miles every day to carry water and can engage in more productive work

Girls don’t have to help carry water and can attend school

Irrigation creates year-round sustainable agriculture and boosts crop yields

Animals and livestock are able to thrive

Disease declines and overall health improves

Prosperity becomes possible
In 2008, BARKA Foundation held numerous meetings with women in the city and in rural regions of Burkina to hear their thoughts about the greatest problems facing them and to determine how best to proceed. Unanimously, all the women pointed to clean potable water and the distance they must travel to carry water to their families as their greatest issue.
It has been proven that small, benign interventions can be implemented in a rural African village to break through the otherwise insurmountable cycle of poverty. Clean water is one such intervention, and a human birthright.
BARKA’s Co-Founders have been coming back to Tantiaka, known locally as “La Petite Village”, a single village in the eastern region of Burkina Faso since January 2005. They were told they were the first white faces to be trusted since colonialism. They are considered and treated as family members. BARKA considers this deep and trustful relationship with its family in Burkina to be its most valuable asset.
BARKA’s guiding principle is to first do no harm. BARKA is engaged with the indigenous, local population to join hands together in solving the issues of transforming the cycle of permanent food insecurity and poverty into one of sustainability, empowerment, autonomy and prosperity.
Note: Land use and water rights are legally owned by the state however in practice are still carried out traditionally. BARKA works with local leaders and elders’ councils as well as local government officials, mayors, governors, prefects and kings. BARKA also draws on both indigenous and modern technologies ranging from divination to agronomy, dowsing to machine powered well drilling. BARKA’s emphasis of the “development interventions” which it facilitates is on self-empowerment and sustainability within a context of the preservation of indigenous cultural identity and sensitivity to the impact of its influence.


Narrative Summary

The goal of this project is to drill 1 well, fix 1 broken well, create a rope pump in place of an open well which will replace unpotable water with clean water, establish basic irrigation through low-cost, locally sourced, easy to maintain methods (treadle pumps and wellpoints which tap in shallow underground water sources for agricultural use), dig 4 gender-specific latrines in two schools, and institute a WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) program in those schools.
Project Execution Schedule

Term: 3 months

Timeline Month 1:

  • BARKA Co-Founders (Project Management Team) leave from USA to Burkina Faso

  • Work with village and well driller to prepare primary well site and create a collective local investment in the project

  • Form local steering committee comprised of women, elders and stakeholders

  • Discuss ways to ensure monies for future maintenance (explore feasibility of a village bank account based on micro-payments)

  • Locate a broken well that can be fixed on allotted budget, determine needed repairs

  • Determine necessary tools and supplies for rope pump

  • Meet with school Administrator to discuss latrines and WASH program

  • Locate and hire a teacher familiar with WASH program who speaks local language of Gulimanchema

Month 2:

  • Determine local source for building of treadle pumps; meet with engineer in Ouagadougou for production of treadle pump (referred to us through Winrock International)

  • Meet and work with artisan/metalworker and farmers to build treadle pumps, provide training and maintenance instruction

  • Locate wellpoints for pump locations

  • Begin implementation of irrigation in village garden and in plots of smallholder farmers

  • Introduce education specialist to teach WASH in schools

  • Implement process of converting open well to a sealed/covered well with rope pump

Month 3:

  • Geofor, local well drilling company begins work on site (process takes 3 weeks)

  • With local well drilling company determine and train local engineer to handle repairs

  • Begin process of fixing broken well with local engineer and/or Geofor

  • Dig latrines in schools

  • Unveil the well

  • Promote event locally, nationally and internationally

  • Host local celebration and fete

  • Document all aspects of project in video

  • Return to USA, edit video, screen at public centers of participatory communities

Other Contributing Partners:

  • LONAB, Burkina’s national lottery has pledged $14,000 toward this project

  • The 3rd grade class of Sullivan Elementary School, School body of Gabriel Abbott Memorial School, and Monument Mountain Regional High School, all of Berkshire County, MA have contributed $7000 to this project.

  • Global Water Network, a division of Earth Day Network contributed $880 for the latrines

Total Project Budget: $47,052

Funds Needed to Complete Project Financing: $25,172


Population: 15.264 million (2008)

Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta

Gained independence from France in 1960

Renamed by President Thomas Sankara (assassinated) in 1984

Translation of Burkina Faso: Nation stands tall, or Land of honorable people.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country.

It is surrounded by six countries, Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d’Ivoire to the south west.

It is ranked 177 out of 182 countries on the Human Development Index (UNDP 2009).
Burkina holds the worst rating on the planet in overall health and development status of mothers (Save the Children). 
Infant mortality rate is 20%.(UNICEF)
Nutritional status of children has worsened since 1993 and malnutrition is the underlying cause of 50% of all-cause child mortality.  (UNICEF)
It has the highest illiteracy rate in the world. (UNDP)

It is estimated that in a rural village 1 person in 1000 may be able to read.

(International Service)
46% of people in BF live below the poverty line. (Better by the Year)

Less than half of the population has access to clean water and less than 10% to adequate sanitation. (UNICEF)

Desertification and deforestation are on the rise. Water availability has decreased annually for the past 45 years.

(Better by the Year)

More than 80% of Burkina Faso’s population lives on subsistence farming.

I am the Mossi King representing more than half of the Burkina Faso population. I am a man of peace, having received this country’s highest honor for building peace. My full support of this endeavor is based on the social, spiritual, economic, and moral benefit for the people of Burkina and for all the people in our global village. It is with gratitude that I acknowledge the respect that BARKA Foundation has shown me and the spiritual traditions of my country. Together we hope to change the world in some small yet significant way for the betterment of all. This is a project for the children of the future and I will employ all within my power to ensure its successful outcome.”

His Majesty, Emperor Mogho Naaba

Success Factors

  1. The Community of La Petite Village is With Us

During the past four years BARKA Foundation has earned the trust of “La Petite Village” by working directly with the women and elders of the village to gain their advice and support. Village meetings are ongoing to discuss and determine processes, achieve clarity, inspire an investment in the project on the part of the local population, give voice to alternative options and opposing opinions and gain approval from local stakeholders. This kind of “community-led development” within a single village is being used to develop a “village micro-model” that can be replicated in other regions and scaled to far larger regions nationally and internationally.
2. Political Will and Solidarity

Government agencies which have assisted BARKA include:

* Burkina Faso Embassy to the US

* Ministry of Water

* Ministry for the Promotion of Women

* Ministry of Sport

* Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Communications

* Ministry of Foreign Affairs

* Ministry of Administration

* Mayor of Ouagadougou

* US Embassy in Burkina Faso

* American Cultural Center

* His Majesty the Mogho Naaba, King of Moussi People

* Local kings, mayors, prefects throughout specific areas of Burkina Faso

3. Management Team
To work alongside Esu and Ina is to feel their relentless passion, energy and drive to make the BARKA Foundation into a significant force for positive change. They do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because they are driven by a greater force which compels them to act. They work at this feverish pitch not for their own gain, but because they see the urgency of the situation and know that time is of the essence for the future of the children in this world.”

-Adam Ruderman, Social Entrepreneur, BARKA Board Member
For Ina & Esu Anahata, this is not a job but a calling. They both feel as though they were brought together from radically different former paths in order to align their work and lives with this purpose.
Ina & Esu didn’t choose Burkina Faso- Burkina chose them. In 2004, they met under the guidance and instruction of Malidoma Patrice Some, an initiated elder and shaman of the Dagara people of Burkina Faso. Dr. Some is a renowned authority on the indigenous paradigm and teaches about the need for westerners to learn sensitivity and practice reciprocity when entering an indigenous context. Ina began traveling to Burkina in 2000, Esu in 2004. They were equally struck by the power, vitality and wisdom of indigenous Africa. At the same time, they began to develop a thorough understanding of the socio-economic, political, environmental and psychological realities affecting their indigenous family and felt compelled to do something about it.

In 2006 and again in 2007 Ina & Esu were gifted parcels of land in Fada which is where they will be focusing their forthcoming agricultural and irrigation projects. In 2009, women of La Petite Village showed their support and solidarity by making mud bricks for a traditional hut which was constructed as a home for Ina & Esu. La Petite is in the Gourma province of eastern Burkina Faso not far from Fada. It is the home of the Gour’mache people who speak the potentially endangered language of Gulimanchema which Ina & Esu are learning.

4. UN Support

BARKA Foundation is an accredited UN NGO. Each UN-affiliated NGO must work to promote UN initiatives. BARKA focuses on spreading awareness of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and the International Day of Peace, which takes place each year on September 21st. BARKA is currently in communication with 11 UN agencies and will draw on in-country resources at UNICEF with regard to the WASH program element of this project.

"BARKA is one of those rare foundations whose water efforts are born out of creative solutions. Ina and esu have globally engaged children, educators, and NGOs to help raise water consciousness, and to bring clean water to those in dying need in Burkina Faso."

William Waterway Marks

Author, Water Voices from Around The World; voted 1st Place in the world's largest

international book competition as: "Most Likely to Save the Planet"


Program Item

Cost per Unit

Total Cost


Drill 1 well




BARKA Administration Service Fee (20%)



Covers administrative costs such as telecommunications, printing, insurance, operational costs, etc.

Fix 1 well




1 Rope Pump



1 Borehole (for rope pump)




Irrigation Expert



Trained consultant to help establish first irrigation system and to teach local farmers to maintain it

8 treadle pumps



8 well points




Dig 4 gender-specific latrines at local schools



Ensure latrines will not contaminate water supply

Education Specialist



To teach WASH principles and basic hygiene in indigenous language

Soap and school supplies for 4 schools



Project Management

Program Manager



Field Coordinator



Travel Expenses





Financial Footnote:

The US dollar has lost almost 20% of its value since January 2009.

Other Financial Contributors

Berkshire County, MA Schools


LONAB (Burkina Faso National Lottery)


Global Water Network


Amount Remaining to Raise


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