Field Notes: Providing wells in Burkina Faso

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Early in 2014, nine new wells were dug throughout select areas in Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world. The goal was to provide rural communities with clean water to local populations. 

NDIGD's involvement in the project was two-fold. Not only did we work with a local partner in Burkina Faso, Accedes, to dig the wells, but we also worked with the local populations to conduct baseline and endline surveys in order to evaluate the wells' impact. After the locations of the wells were determined, a process based on the suggestions of community members, and negotiated by local chiefs and religious leaders, Dr. Juan Carlos Guzman, NDIGD Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, and Danice Brown, NDIGD Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, surveyed the communities that were selected to receive the wells. This baseline survey was conducted in December of 2013. Surveys determined their current level of health, how much time they spent travelling for a water source, and the amount of time they spent engaged in economic activity. The NDIGD monitoring and evaluation team worked with local enumerators to survey households with the use of smartphones. 

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The wells were completed in July, 2014, and the M&E team again returned in December of 2014 to complete an endline study. Nearly 100 of the same households in Burkina Faso were surveyed. To view the results broadly, approximately 3,000 people and 7,000 cattle have easier access to water as a result of the new wells. Yet more specific impacts may not be as expected, but are just as considerable. For example, the new wells have reinforced social cohesion, as there are fewer quarrels among women trying to obtain water from overcrowded water sources. Additionally, increased access to wells allowed the local population to spend more time on economic activities. 

The evaluation of the Burkina Faso Water Wells project allowed NDIGD to be involved with the implementation and evaluation of a project. Our evaluation led to many lessons learned, which will be very beneficial moving forward.

To learn more about the Burkina Faso Water Wells project, click here.