Ouagadougou, 12 June 2017—A project targeting some 30,000 residents of Bissighin area located in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso are seeing the fruits of development initiatives resulting from a USD 100,000 Community Managed Fund project.

“Since inception, the Programme has implemented specific initiatives that have transformed the living conditions of slum and informal settlement dwellers through Community Managed Funds. For example, women and youth living in Bissighin constructed public spaces that include a road and health centre thereby also contributing to an increase in the number of safe public spaces available.

Also constructed were rainwater drainage infrastructure that prevent flooding and reduce the prevalence of water borne diseases especially for children under five years and pregnant mothers,” said Mrs Florence Comporé  who lives in Bissighin.

In addition, Community Managed Funds were used to promote gender equality. Women and girls were trained in brick construction and solid waste management, thus providing them with relevant skills that enabled them earn a living and come out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

“Girls were also trained in the installation and maintenance of the alternative energy sources that include solar and plumbing, thereby contributing to an increased in the number of skilled labourers available at neighbourhood level to address plumbing and energy issues. Before the training, men formed the majority of skilled labourers in the energy and plumbing sectors,” said Ms Comporé.

Recognising the urgent need to improve the living conditions of people living in slums and informal settlements, Government requested the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) for technical support. Burkina Faso later joined the Programme that is an initiative of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat, financed by the European Commission and implemented by UN-Habitat, and become part of a network of 35 countries transforming the lives of slum dwellers. To empower women and youth living in slums and informal settlements, a Community Managed Fund 100,000 from the US$ 416,820 Programme Funds was set aside.

To date, PSUP in Burkina Faso has been able to

  • Deliver tangible community driven slum upgrading interventions.
  • Contribute to the empowerment of women and youth through Community Managed Funds.
  • Generate evidence based knowledge on slums and enhance the capacity of stakeholders to strengthen policies and develop inclusive city-wide plans.
  • Improve governance and slum upgrading institutions by strengthening collaborative linkages across sectors and stakeholder groups including slum dwellers.
  • Facilitate strategic partnerships between national authorities, local authorities and slum dwellers on the one hand, and institutions that are able to tailor appropriate pro-poor financial mechanisms for sustainable slum upgrading.

Burkina Faso’s population is predominantly rural, with 29 percent of its population residing in urban areas. However, 65.8 percent of the urban population resides in slums and informal settlements, demonstrating the urgent need for increased provision of housing, basic services and infrastructure in urban areas. Unemployment especially amongst women and youth and increasing urban insecurity are other pressing concerns facing the urban poor.

“It is envisaged that PSUP initiatives in Burkina Faso will have a catalytic effect and that the transformative projects initiated will be replicated and up scaled country-wide. Experience gained implementing activities at neighbourhood and country levels will contribute to a pool of knowledge supporting cities to reduce the estimated one billion people living in slums across the globe by the year 2030,” concluded Ms. Basilisa Sanou, the UN-Habitat Programme Manager in Burkina Faso.anou, the UN-Habitat Programme Manager in Burkina Faso.