Access to drinking water for informal settlements in Burkina Faso

19 July 2023

As part of the Eau, Clé du Développement Durable (ECDD) Project by World Waternet, SNV and Faso Koom, the consortium joined forces with ONEA, the drinking water utility of Burkina Faso. They created boreholes and installed standpipes to provide drinking water to internally displaced people in informal settlements of Boassa and Wapassi.

This is a contribution by Fani Sabi, Communication Advisor at Faso Koom

The rate of access to drinking water in Burkina Faso is estimated at 76% today, compared to 68% in 2005. However, there are disparities throughout the country depending on whether people live in urban or rural areas. In cities, the access rate is around 93%, while in rural areas it is below 70%.

The city of Kaya, the former capital of the kingdom of Boussouma, located in the province of Sanmatenga and the Centre-Nord region, currently has a drinking water supply network built by the Office Nationale de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement (ONEA), which is no longer able to provide drinking water to the city's 46,000 inhabitants. Sector 1 of the city, the most disadvantaged, has a total of 10,655 inhabitants, of which 52% are women and 42% are children and adolescents. The lack of availability of drinking water causes many water-related illnesses linked to the consumption of surface water, or polluted or contaminated traditional open wells.


In the dry season, the distances travelled by women to fetch water vary between 10 and 12 km round trip, often obtaining only 20 liters of drinking water. The rest of the year, the waiting time varies from 4 to 6 hours on the few existing boreholes or wells, which considerably limits the availability to develop other activities, especially economic ones.

To contribute to the resolution of this difficulty related to the lack of drinking water, the Water, CLE for Sustainable Development project (ECDD) implemented by World Waternet and SNV, thanks to the financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Burkina Faso, has financed the realization of three production boreholes for ONEA. Through this action, it aims at reinforcing the water supply in the provincial and regional capitals, hosting at least 15,000 internally displaced people and this in collaboration with ONEA.

In addition, five standpipes and more than 20 toilets have been rehabilitated in the slums of Boassa and Wapassi located in the 7th district of the city of Ouagadougou.

Now let's hear from the people actually benefiting from this!

Mrs Koumben

Mrs Koumben is internally displaced person living in Wapassi district. 


"The rehabilitation of these standpipes is really beneficial for me. It now saves me energy and money because I don't have to repair my bike every day like I used to because of the weight of the water cans I had to load.

It's really one less thorn in our side that this project has come to remove from our feet and our families, and we'll never be able to say thank you enough for this action. Today, thanks to this project, I no longer have to travel 6 kilometers every day to fetch water, because I have drinking water very close to home."

Mrs Sawadogo

Mrs Sawadogo is a resident of the Boassa district.


"I am really happy and I tell anyone who wants to hear it. Thanks to the rehabilitation of the standpipes, my family and I no longer have urinary tract infections, stomach aches and diarrhoea. I use this water as drinking water, for cooking and even to wash myself. I used to travel nearly 10 kilometers to fetch water for my house and me, but now I am relieved.

I try my best to put into practice the advice you gave us during the awareness session on water, hygiene and sanitation last March. I bought myself new clean containers with lids and in these containers that my water converses for more cleanliness".