Burkina Faso {JPEG}

Country : Burkina Faso

Region : Centre Nord

Province : Sanmatenga

Prefecture : Pissila is situated 50km east from Kaya. The village is in a zone that is strongly affected by desertification (see at the end of this page).

Physical description of the area

A semi-arid climate:

shrubby savannah {JPEG} The area belongs to the north Sudanese sector. The contrasting climate shows two distinct seasons: the rain season from May to September and the dry season the remaining of the year.

Water resources:

- Surface water: The shallowness of water ponds is one of the main causes of their early drying.

- Ground water: This area is one of the more depressed in Burkina Faso.

- Existence of shallows in the village: A temporary river flows close to the village during the rain season. A small dam has been constructed years ago, but the equipement wasn’t fit for the strong erosion processes, and it gave up. The water pond that was then created was a source of cattle watering, but also of aquatic fauna, and permitted the culture of rice upstream and downstream, creating a welcome source of food for the people.

Socio-economic context

Number of inhabitants : 6 000

Ethnic groups :

- 97% Mossis who mainly live upon agriculture
- 2% Peuhls, ancient breeders from the North who adopted a sedentary lifestyle
- 1% Marinsés, trading people

Economy of the village :

Sorghum, millet, corn, peanuts and peas are the main cultures {JPEG}

- Agriculture: main activity of the villagers; farming take place from June to November, during the rain season. Only the Peuhl ethnic group keeps farming as a second activity, behind breeding. The crops are mainly used for auto-consumption.

- Crops or income, weaving and selling of animals allow to gain small income during the good years.

- Rice farming: people who own a field in the shallows can grow flood rice (directly planted in the water pond) or pluvial rice (planted along the river banks and thus irrigated by the rain). This production is used for consumtpion in special occasions and mainly for selling.

Infastructures :

Issaogo school {JPEG}
Sinking {JPEG}

- One school, built thanks to the financial and physical means of the villagers

- A mill

- An equipped market (3 times a week)

- 5 sinkings to access ground water

- 5 wells of large diameters, to store rain water

- A trail is the only way to access the village; it’s hardly practicable during the rain season

Issaogo suffers from a strong enclosure: there is no road and very few infrastructures, hence a marked isolation from the national development programs. The lack of food goes with a lack of water: the village doesn’t own enough functionnal sinkings and the surface water dry from january on. Moreover, the access to medical care is limited.

All this leads to hygien issues, exhaustion problems (the villagers need to walk 10km to find water during the dry season) and difficulties to water their cattle (the breeders can loose up to half their herd in one year).

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