Drinking water and sanitation provision in Burkina Faso

Project description

Title: Inclusive water supply and sanitation services in Burkina Faso
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Burkina Faso
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Sanitation
Overall term: 2019 to 2021


The urban population of Burkina Faso is set to increase from 4.3 million people (in 2017) to around eleven million people in 2030. Cities are growing as a result, and rural regions are being developed. The semi-state-owned water supply company ONEA (Office national de l'eau et de l'assainissement) supplies 56 urban centres. More than 90 per cent of the population here have access to safe drinking water. Just 34 per cent of the urban population have access to sanitary facilities that meet minimum standards. One result of the inadequate sanitation facilities is that drinking water is contaminated during transportation and storage. The 1.5 million poor people who use public water kiosks are particularly affected. 60 per cent of the population suffer from diarrhoeal diseases and deficiency disorders as a result of the poor water quality. Activities relating to drinking water supply are being consolidated. The focus on developing an inclusive sanitation chain aims to secure drinking water and sanitation services, and to create jobs.

The causes of the problems in the supply of drinking water and, above all, sanitation services can be attributed to capacity shortfalls in government agencies. There are quantitative and qualitative capacity bottlenecks in the Ministry of Water, the municipalities and in the ONEA departments responsible for sanitation services.


The semi-state-owned supply company ONEA, which is responsible for urban water supply and sanitation, has stepped up the development of inclusive, employment-generating drinking water supply and sanitation services – particularly on the outskirts of towns and cities.


The project builds on the results achieved by the predecessor module regarding framework conditions and implementation in the drinking water supply. A new focus is on decentralised, urban sanitation services. The project follows an approach that considers all stages of the sanitation chain: collection – emptying – treatment. It assists public and private actors with regard to strategy, financing, regulation and service provision.

At individual level, the project strengthens the middle management and technical personnel of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, ONEA (in the area of investment planning, operation and maintenance of the drinking water network, energy audits, planning and monitoring the sanitation supply) and the municipalities (monitoring of environmental standards). The project also provides training in hygiene awareness for water committees, plumbers, technicians, masons, cesspit cleaners and specialists.

At organisational level, the project advises ONEA on functional, centralised and decentralised organisational structures for planning and monitoring sanitation services and on management concepts for the sanitation chain.

ONEA mobilises some 1.6 million euros of own funds annually for investments in the sanitation chain. Its strategic plan until 2020 provides a good framework for expanding the sanitation supply. The objective is to increase the percentage of the population with access to sanitation to 46 per cent. Up to 34 new sludge treatment plants are to be built.