Avoid “water wars”

When water is so scarce that its supply can lead to bloody conflict, urgent action needs to be taken. This is precisely what ICE3AL (Institut de coopération Europe Asie Afrique Amérique latine) (Institute for Cooperation between Europe Asia Africa and Latin America) is doing in Gorom-Gorom, in the heart of the Burkina Faso Sahel.

Humanitarian and Development

Project leader

ICE3AL (Institut de coopération Europe Asie Afrique Amérique Latine)

Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso

Thierry Bosne, Veolia Énergie

30,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/07/04

“Increasing the number of wells will put the villages on an equal footing again, as each well will be managed by a person appointed by the user villages, in order to avoid the conflicts that have arisen between the water “haves” and the water “have-nots.”
Thierry Bosne

In the north of Burkina Faso, in the province of Oudalan in the heart of the Sahel, water is an extremely rare commodity. Around the municipality of Gorom-Gorom, some villages have wells and so access to water, others do not. In the latter, the women walk several kilometers a day to fetch water. Worse still, fighting, at times with fatal consequences, is breaking out between the water “haves” and the water “have-nots”.
In this same region, the NGO Cap solidaire is running a replanting program, thanks to a special drainage method, and successfully afforesting 50 hectares a few kilometers from Gorom-Gorom. This new vegetation will enable the return of cattle and so the resumption of regular farming and herding activities.

Free water for everyone

To ensure the future of this project, effectively and lastingly combat desertification and ease tension between villages, Cap solidaire turned to ICE3AL (Institut de coopération Europe Asie Afrique Amérique latine) and asked it to help increase the number of water sources. The two organizations have set themselves the target of drilling eight new wells fitted with hand pumps in the villages that have until now been without water. It is ICE3AL’s responsibility to iron out the project details and organize the funding.


The artesian wells that will be drilled will prevent dozens of women from having to make the daily laborious trek over several kilometers to fetch water. The water, raised by hand, will be available free to the greatest number thereby putting the villages on an equal footing once again.