Sanitation: Much more than a technical problem, a challenge for the citizens of Burkina Faso and for the world!

Christian MAMPUYA | April 19, 2024

The 2023 assessment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reveals a challenging situation for Burkina Faso with only one in four Burkinabè benefiting from access to adequate sanitation services. The lack of adequate sanitation will result in diseases spreading at alarming speed, ecosystems  destroyed, and basic human dignity violated, writes Christian MAMPUYA, our 2023 Impact West Africa Fellow, in his latest piece for the Quotidien Sidwaya.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Christian calls for meaningful intervention and notes that the issue of sanitation must become “a matter of citizen commitment and collective responsibility”. He notes that while the regulatory framework for the management of Wastewater and Excreta (AEUE) adopted at the end of 2022 marked a strategic turning point, especially in its dedicated to strengthening citizen participation, it is still missing a crucial component – active involvement of women and young people in decision-making positions and processes. 

As per Christian, young people and women are critical to achieving the SDGs and improving access to sanitation in Burkina Faso. “Young people, in particular, bring much-needed energy and innovative perspectives” that have the potential of transforming sanitation issues into “relevant” and “captivating” subjects that can speak to a young population. Women, he notes, bring unique perspectives in health, hygiene and education. They are on the front lines managing water and sanitation within their homes and communities. “Their inclusion in decision-making bodies is therefore not only a fair but also a strategic imperative”, says Christian. 

Despite efforts, effective integration that goes beyond symbolic gestures and honorary roles at conferences or forums reamins insufficient. Christian calls for  government as well as non-governmental organizations, private sector, technical and financial partners to recognize and promote the potential of young people and women. Ultimately, he notes that is an opportunity for Burkina Faso to not only achieve its sanitation goals but also serve as a model for other countries facing similar challenges. 




To read more about Burkina Faso’s sanitation crisis and Christian’s call for urgent action click below.