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Opportunities and constraints for local IWRM innovations: The case of Local Water Committee in Burkina Faso


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Presented by Bio Mohamadou Torou and Dr Jean Philippe Venot at the International Forum on Water and Food (IFWF), South Africa, 14-17 November 2011.

The International Forum on Water and Food (IFWF) is the premier gathering of water and food scientists working on improving water management for agricultural production in developing countries.

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Opportunities and constraints for local IWRM innovations: The case of Local Water Committee in Burkina Faso

  1. 1. Opportunities and Constraints for local IWRMinnovations: the case of Local Water Committee in Burkina Faso Bio Mohamadou TOROU Dr. Jean Philippe VENOT
  2. 2. Issues• In Burkina Faso, the majority of the population lives in the exploitation of land and other natural resources (water, forests, grazing)• The country is subject to erratic climatic conditions that impact the availability of water resources• Although studies show that more than the scarcity and availability of water resources the management is rather an issue (MEE, 2001)• Then decision makers of the country have opted for water resources management which echoes the international agenda of IWRM.• Over the last 15 years, Burkina Faso has undertaken institutional reforms in its water sector. Among the innovations was the adoption of an IWRM Action Plan, including the creation of local water committees (CLE). This study is a diagnosis of existing of ten CLEs and of their functioning.
  3. 3. Main Results• The adoption of the water legislation, the IWRM action plan are significant advances• The implementation of CLE is an institutional innovation that could allow a alternative approach combining top-down and bottom-up in the water resources management• The attempt to put water users, government departments and other organizations within a framework of consultation on water resources management is highly encouraging
  4. 4. Main Results• But the constraints are enormous: Inside the CLE we see a very important power play between the government, traditional leaders and to a lesser extent certain user groups The CLE are led by the strongest group with consequent a lack of equity in access to the resource If water is seen as a priori common resources, early individual, socio-professional and community interests emerge and sometimes blocks the synergy of action which is desired around water resources. Also the legal attributions of the CLE are facing the survival of the traditional logic of water management and land and the long history of government management of water
  5. 5. Conclusion et perspectives• Burkina Faso is entered in IWRM but there is more rhetoric than practice• For practice IWRM at local level it would be important:To read the law in order to integrate the links between water and landClarify the responsibilities of the CLE and redefine the actorsTo train technical services to IWRM and beyondDevelop the feeling among users that water is a resource common to all defense