3 million people in Burkina Faso lack access to an improved water source.

81% don't have access to improved sanitation in Burkina Faso, over 13 million people.

Over 12,000 children under five years old die annually from poor water and sanitation in Burkina Faso.

Droughts have made water scarce and caused many people to move to unplanned urban slums where services are poor.

The crisis

Almost a quarter of the population of Burkina Faso lacks access to safe water. 12,000 children under the age of five die every year from water-related diarrhoea.

Droughts are increasingly common and water supply services in many areas are inadequate. In one part of the country, mining activity often contaminates water with naturally-occurring arsenic.

The sanitation situation is even worse, with less than two in ten people having access to a toilet. As a result, defecating in the open is common, contaminating water sources further.

Our approach

WaterAid has been working in Burkina Faso since 2001. We work through local partners who understand the specific challenges faced, to ensure we reach those most in need.

We also carry out advocacy work to influence key decision-makers. Our efforts have inspired the government to carry out a country-wide campaign on sanitation and hold a national sanitation forum.

Our work is focussed on reaching the poorest and most marginalised people. One example is a credit scheme for sanitation and soap-making enterprises, enabling women to earn an income while raising hygiene awareness.

In Burkina Faso last year we reached:

  • 71,000 people with safe water
  • 115,000 people with improved sanitation.

Watch this short film to find out more:

A woman holds up two pieces of soap. There are blocks of soap she is making in the background.