Providing access to drinking water for part of the population of the outskirts of Kongoussi, in the province of Bam

For 19 500 inhabitants, Kongoussi only has 219 subscribers to the water supply network. Divided into two by Lake Bam, the town has two main downtown areas a few kilometers apart. One of them has water points, the other does not. The situation is even more worrying for the 64 villages on the outskirts.

Humanitarian and Development

Province of Bam, Burkina Faso

Laurent Voyer

6 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/09/29

Project leader

Amitiés BAM - Bretagne

The nonprofit association Bam Bretagne, based in Landerneau, in the Finisterre district, has been working actively for 30 years in the province of Bam, particularly around Kongoussi, with whose problems it is very familiar.
It has a score of development projects to its credit, chiefly in the fields of education, agriculture and health; a school, a library, a soap plant, several irrigation plots and agricultural micro-projects have come to fruition thanks to its activities in the community of the Landerneau country.

While the problem of water is serious in town, it is extremely worrying in the neighboring villages because of the long distances from the water point, groundwater pollution by nitrates or arsenic, not counting the drying up of the wells.

Based on the list of priority sites compiled by the Municipal Council of Kongoussi in 2006, the association has identified the one to focus its action.

Knowledge of the type of soil and the quality of the water will help propose a technical solution that is both appropriate and affordable

The aim of the project is to shorten the distance travelled by the women to fetch water, and to install a collective sanitary water point for human and animal consumption - and even agricultural use - as close as possible to the living centers. The point is simply equipped, and is both reliable and economically sound. Protecting the water resource and preventing contamination by seepage, particularly by the presence of cattle near the water point, requires supplementing the drilling installations with a concrete area and a wastewater disposal system.

A Veolia employee and a hydrogeologist provided their advice concerning the technical methodology and resources. Note that boreholes with India type manual pumps are not exported from Europe. In order to control costs, a borehole survey by electrical prospecting was requested to reduce risk taking, and a performance clause was inserted in the estimate from the contractor.

The management committee, previously trained in matters of hygiene, safety and maintenance by the Provincial Directorate of Bam, which takes charge of training its members, entrusts the upkeep of the installations to the villagers, by including the women in management of the water, which is perceived as a collective and remunerative service.