In the Yatenga Province, because of worsening climate conditions, there are serious access problems to water resources for a group of rural communities with a population of 5000, half of which is younger than 14. Lack of water and desertification are leading to extreme poverty, malnutrition, low sanitary conditions, and environmental degradation. Green Cross Italy (GC Italy) sent out a taskforce earlier this year to investigate these effects, and has decided to build water supply systems in 11 villages, where according to the data furnished by the Burkinabé Ministry of Agriculture and Hydraulics, there are no water supply point infrastructures. The main goals of the project are: to ensure constant access to water resources; to improve agricultural productivity, and stop desertification; to improve hygiene conditions in the villages; and to form a permanent Committee for management of the resources brought in.
The project, which is a joint venture with Green Cross Burkina Faso, will begin in the summer of 2007 with a proposed timeframe of 2 years. During the implementation of the project local authorities and communities will be constantly involved in order to ensure the perenity of the project. Funds are being provided by the Italian non-profit organization, MediaFriends, as the project is one of their four main 2007 fundraising beneficiaries. A short film has also been shot, which was used for World Water Day, and details Green Cross’ activities in Burkina Faso. GC Italy is also considering the possibility of developing other projects in the Yatenga Province, such as supplying renewable (photovoltaic) energy to the rural communities.