Etienne@L'Agence de L'Eau du Gourma

11 October 2018

Etienne Nacoulma is working for World Waternet at our Burkinabe partner L’ Agence de l’Eau du Gourma (AEG). He participates in the Young Expert Program (YEP) and is one of the 4 Young Experts working for World Waternet. Find our more about his experiences in Burkina Faso.

By Etienne Nacoulma, 11 September 2018. 

Every four months, Isabelle Van Klink, Ewoud De Jong Posthumus from Netherland, Aboubacar Diallo from Mali and I from Burkina Faso are writing blog on our works. I work as project coordinator partly for the Water Operators' Partnership (WOP) between Waternet and Gourma Water Agency (AEG)  and partly for the Dutch Water Authority (DWA) between Netherlands and Burkina Faso Water Agencies as part of the Young Expert Program (YEP) for 2 years.


After participating in intense training on personal effectiveness, cross-cultural facilitation, conflict management, prevention, mediation and negotiation (Harvard), training of trainers, business case, cooperation and international policies with my colleagues (12 young experts of YEP Programe ) in the Netherlands in October 2017, I arrived at the Gourma Water Agency (AEG) located in the capital of the Eastern region in Burkina Faso as project coordinator, Hydrogeologist and IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) Expert at the Water and Environment Direction.

In the following paragraphs you will find the main missions I conducted with the water agency and its partners. Next to that I had an exciting visit of my mentor Piet Johan RADSMA and very often his phone and Skype calls to encourage me and guide us for the success of my activities. I participated in training on Human Right relate to water and sanitation (AFDH ) and also to hydrological modeling. Apart from that, I also paid a visit to the Dutch Honorary Consul and Burkina Faso Presidency.

My mentor Piet Johan at my right left and my colleague (Ewoud) at my left.

Identification and description of water springs

During the month of June 2018, I was on a mission of three days in Gourma Water Agency (AEG) space. This mission consisted of identifying, Geological, Hydrogeological and Socio-economic analyzes of water sources with a view to protecting them and ensuring their sustainable management. The mission was a real success in terms of the objectives achieved.

Geological and hydrogeological description along the Gobnangou cliff

Water fair

In the battle for integrated water resources management, during the month of March, I was a member of the organizing committee of the water fair for three days. On this occasion I gave a presentation on a water balance study on the Tanjari dam to the various actors during the conference organized for this purpose. I also hosted the booth of the Gourma Water Agency where I demonstrated the misdeeds of bad management practice and especially promote good practices of integrated water resources management.

Animation of the AEG stand at the water fair

Water availability data collection

With a view to the conservation of water resources management data and its availability to all users, I participated together with my colleague Ewoud de Jong Posthumus in a research for data collection and reporting on water resources for Kou basin in the western region of Burkina Faso. This project was a success due to the support of the Dutch Water Authority through the Faso Koom project. This work allowed to write a solid report called "Hydrogeological literature and data review of the Kou river basin, Burkina Faso" available at the Mouhoun Water Agency.

Presentation of groundwater availability data for the Kou Basin

Focus group animation

During the months of June, July and August 2018, Ewoud and I joined the Mohoun Water Agency (AEM) located in the western region of Burkina Faso and on a highly sedimentary zone with a sustainable natural watercourse called Kou and Mouhoun. I took part in the various activities namely an awareness of the users on the good practice of the management of the water resources as well as the activities of renewal of the instances of the committee of basin including the re-reading and amendment of the constitutive convention and the regulation inside.

Concertation with water users


I had the opportunity to participate in a three-day workshop on "A human rights approach to water and sanitation" organized by Oxfam #SPONG and # DANIDA, as part of the #FasEau Mission. In 2015, Burkina Faso recognized the human right to water and sanitation as a national law. This gives the people the power to claim their rights over sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use. The workshop allowed us to better understand how debtors, such as regional agencies Burkina Faso, can contribute to the effective implementation of this law by taking appropriate practical measures to control and influence public action in the integrated management of water resources.

Presentation of data on the availability of groundwater in the Kou Basin

I also had the opportunity to participate in a three-day on "Support for the Integrated Water Resources Management in the Mouhoun Basin and Nakanbé" - Burkina Faso", organized by Water International Office, as part of its program of activities. The objective of the workshop was to familiarize water engineers and managers of the regional water agencies and the directors of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation with hydrological modeling. Discussed were the fundamentals of modeling, advantages and disadvantages of the subject of modeling, the use of data and the exploitation of the results that will allow the participants to better understand the behavior of the hydrologic systems, to make better predictions and face the major water challenges in water resources management in Burkina Faso.

Training participants

Having a good time

Participation in the week of young experts residing in West Africa on the sharing of experiences in Accra (Ghana) allowed me to meet my colleagues from Waternet working in Mali and also the group of dynamic young people from the field of Water and Agrofood working in West Africa.

Green house visit

Last July during the Dutch Water Authority mission, I had the opportunity to pay a courtesy visit to the Dutch Honorary Consul, Silmiraogo Balma. Mr. Balma to salute the initiative of DWA to support the Water Agencies in Burkina and signaled his availability to accompany us.

Delegation of DWA with Mr Silmiraogo Balma, Honorary Consul of the Netherlands

At the same time we had the opportunity to join the team of the friendly Burkina_Pays-Bas for a guided tour of the  Burkina Faso presidency '' Kosyam".

Delegation of DWA to Kosyam palace, the presidency of Burkina Faso