Strengthening Resilience through Improving Access to Water in the Regions of Eastern Burkina Faso and Northern Ghana


This project was executed from November 2016  to April 2019 by Center of Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) to complement the “Eco-Agriculture in the African Sahel” (EAS) project that was being executed in a total of 8 communities in the Lawra and Nandom districts at that time. The project sought to address a crucial gap in strengthening the resilience of chronically vulnerable communities in Eastern Burkina Faso and Upper West Ghana, created by a lack of access to water for consumption and production.

By improving access to water for production and consumption in the same communities where the EAS project was being implemented, CIKOD with its partners HELVETAS and Groundswell International intended to further reduce the risks vulnerable households faced and enhance their absorptive capacity and adaptive capacity. Absorptive capacity relates to survival and stability at the level of vulnerable individuals and households, while adaptive capacity relates to the ability of households and communities to increase their flexibility in making incremental adjustments to strengthen resilience.

The project was founded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation with HELVETAS and Groundswell International being the implementing partners.



The goal of the project was to reinforce resiliency to conditions of drought and chronic vulnerability of populations located in the East of Burkina Faso and the Upper West of Ghana by improving water access for household consumption and productivity.



Some of the specific objectives of the project were to.

  • Provide the population of the two districts (Lawra and Nandom) quality water for consumption and adopt good hygiene and sanitation practices
  • Form and support women’s groups and students in all the eight (8) project communities to improve their agricultural production capacity through water access and capacity strengthening.
  • Support an action research programme related to small-scale irrigation to promote innovation and learning on appropriate agroecological production technologies, as well as effective processing, storage and marketing practices.



The direct beneficiaries of the project were women. The project intended to reduce women’s workloads and the burdens on their time. To allow them time to generate more food, income, and resources. This was based on the assumption that such changes for women correlate strongly with improved children and family’s nutrition and wellbeing.



Facilities and Services:

  • 24 boreholes were drilled and mechanised with hand pumps
  • 6 covered hand dug wells were constructed
  • Provided Hygiene equipment e.g. 13 hand washing stations and 10 tippy tapes
  • 17 chain-link fenced gardens with a minimum size of one and a half acres each for 9 women groups and 8 project schools
  • Supplied sets of garden kits to all women’s and school gardens


Capacity Building.

  • Revitalized Water Users Associations in project communities
  • Strengthened women’s groups and associations
  • Strengthened the capacities of school stakeholders
  • Strengthened the capacities of districts (WASH plans, training, accountability, provision of sustainable water and sanitation services, etc.)
  • Established and trained Water and Sanitation Committees in all project communities
  • Trained 24 Borehole caretakers


Some Actors Involved in The Project

  • Project Developer: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HSI)
  • Project Implementing Partner: Groundswell International (GSI):
  • Implementing Operator in Burkina Faso: Feed Without Destroye (ANSD)
  • Implementation Operator in Ghana: Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD)
  • Ministry of Water and Sanitation
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry in charge of the Environment
  • Districts (Ghana-Lawra and Nandom, Burkina Faso-Bilanga, Gayéri and Tibga)


Activities Undertaken

  • Inception workshop and lunch of the project in Ghana
  • Selection of beneficiary communities in the project districts
  • Community awareness creation on the project
  • Awarded the contract for the drilling and construction of boreholes and wells


Beneficiary communities

Lawra District; Tanchara, Gbengbee, Kalsagri and Eremon

Nandom District; Ko, Goziir, Monyupelle and Brutu