The Gourma water resource management skills area includes significant potential in terms of hydraulic, wildlife, mining, agro-pastoral and fish farming resources. Indeed, we note the presence of more than a hundred reservoirs made up of dams, ponds, lakes, etc., which allow the development of pastoral agrosylvo activities. The pastoral activity of this space is one of the most important in number of the country. The development of artisanal gold panning in this area is now contributing to increased demand and accelerated degradation of the water resource. This degradation manifests itself above all by pollution of watercourses by the use of chemicals (mercury, cyanide, etc.) for the treatment of the ore. These potentials have enabled the development of lucrative activities, a source of human dynamics in terms of pressure on natural resources, particularly on water resources which require the establishment of structures for their sustainable protection and preservation. It therefore makes sense to bring sustainable solutions to the management of water resources in this space before a critical situation is reached.
Without order of importance, we note the following issues / constraints:

Climatic constraints:
They push people and animals in search of water resources to concentrate or water is temporarily available.
Environmental degradation
Most often, it leads to the degradation of the water resource or the disappearance of rivers, ponds, … following uncontrolled activities of men
Water pollution
The causes are currently numerous and are generally linked to anthropogenic activities:

  • illegal use of chemical fertilizers and other crop treatment products; (vegetable growing and cotton growing)
  • wild gold panning
  • the use of prohibited products in fishing

Water-related illnesses
The most frequent are those due to the consumption of non-potable water (pond water, dams, etc.) but there are also onchocerciasis and tsetse fly.
Poor access to drinking water
the AEG are:

The drinking water access rates in the provinces that are part of the GSA are:

Koulpélogo 52.00
Kourittenga 85.30
Namentenga 59.46
Sanmatenga 67.53
Gnagna 53.31
Gourma 55.28
Komondjari 33.43
Kompienga 44.88
Tapoa 37.39
Ganzourgou 67.94
Yagha 49.11


Increased demand for water.

Whatever the nature of the water (potable or not), the increase in demand is effective throughout the entire scope of the Agency.
Many factors contribute to this:

  • rapid population growth
  • the multiplicity and importance of activities requiring water
  • non-compliance with resource management rules
  • the organization of certain users.

Water use conflicts

Région Barrages Boulis Lacs Mares Total
Est 34 1 1 1 37
Centre-Est 9 0 0 0 9
Centre-Nord 1 0 0 0 1
Plateau-Central 0 0 0 0 0
Sahel 3 0 0 0 3
Total 47 1 1 1 50


Farmers-herders around the land along the rivers
Farmers-breeders around the water access tracks by animals
Fishermen-market gardeners
Public works contractors and buildings with populations living near water bodies

Damage to reservoirs

Region Dams Boulis Lacs Mares Total

NB: The degraded organs are either the dam or the weir for dams, lakes, and ponds, or the water intake dams.
Source: 2008 Statistical Yearbook of Water and Its Uses, section: Burkina Faso water reservoirs (November 2010)