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#2: No need to ponder!
02 March 2023

Janette Worm is Regional Manager West-Africa. In her blogs she shares her experiences in Burkina Faso and Mali. In her second blog ,she tells us about her work visit to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso!

No need to ponder!

In Burkina Faso, to ponder and reach consensus over the water level is not needed. All stakeholders agree that the water level is way too low. Water storage and water conservation are crucial for drinking water supply, agriculture, livestock and future generations. Burkina Faso is seriously hit by enormous population growth and climate change effects. Longer periods of drought also occur in the Netherlands, which are even worsened by dewatering, water extraction, poorer soils. Droughts and dehydration are harmful to biodiversity, nature, drinking water production, industry and agriculture. Therefore it is important to take measures against dehydration.

As part of the Blue Deal program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Infrastructure & Water Management, experts from World Waternet are working together with three other Dutch water aurthorities (Hunze en Aas, Drents Overijsselse Delta, Noorderzijlvest) to improve the water supply and the ecology in Burkina Faso. Together with the Burkinabe experts, sustainable solutions are developed to combat dehydration and to increase the resilience to the climate change impacts.

In the Netherlands, we are taking the following measures to combat dehydration: retaining as much water as possible during wet periods, restoring the sponge effect of the soil and widening water courses. An important starting point is that these measures for combating dehydration are combined with measures for flooding, water quality and ecology.

Nature-based solutions

Nature Based Solutions are measures that make use of nature or natural material and at the same time support the recovery of ecosystems. The measures applied against droughts in Burkina Faso are often at a much smaller scale than in the Netherlands and always based on nature.


The focus is on increasing water storage, for example, half-moons of earth are created to retain the water longer and to provide the plants in the middle with water


Creating stone dikes is also a natural way to retain the water longer and prevent the rapid run-off of the scarce rainwater that falls.

Dutch experts can learn a lot from these NBS approaches. On 24 February 2023, the Dutch cabinet agreed to award 110 million euros to the Project NL2120. The project will increase the leading international position of Dutch knowledge institutions and companies in the field of climate adaptation and the use of natural solutions in water and agriculture. Project NL2120 invests in research into natural solutions. A large market is developing worldwide for natural solutions for infrastructure and landscape design issues. This emerging market offers great opportunities for the Dutch business community, because the Netherlands is already seen as a leading country in the field of water and climate issues.

When you drink water you have to think of its source

Vincent Oostenbrink is project manager of the Blue Deal Faso Koom project. He organised the working visit to Burkina Faso with Geert-jan ten Brink, Henk Wolven, Bea Stoker, Anne-Maaike Koeneman and Janette Worm.


Anne-Maaike and Vincent at the breakfast table to take time to review the activities of the following day

The working visit was mainly devoted to the signing of agreements for second phase of the Blue Deal program and the start of a new project financed by the NWB fund.

An important moment at the signing ceremony was the raising of the glass with water; because when you drink water you have to think of the source. Especially now that water sources dry up. Il faut boire l’eau en pensent ca source.


Raising the glass to the new phase of the Blue Deal partnership!

The local press was also very interested in these projects and the Dutch working visit. We even made it to the news on TV. Fortunately, in addition to various workshops and signing ceremonies, there was also time for a field visit to see a number of water management activities.


Janette interviewed by local media

And also at the hairdresser in Ouagadougou you don't have to ponder about a little more or less… that is also clear: Coupe Janette


Overview of different hair styles


Ouagadougou also has its own Eiffel tower, a beautiful beacon in the busy traffic.