Burkina Faso and the Netherlands learn from each other

In the week of January 16, a delegation of 3 people from the Blue Deal partnership in Burkina Faso visited the Netherlands for a 1-week work visit. The delegation was welcomed and hosted by the consortium partners water authority Drents Overijsselse Delta, water authority Hunze en Aa’s and World Waternet (water authority Amstel, Gooi and Vecht).

The visitors were Ghislain Kabore, national coordinator of Faso Koom, Adissa Compaore, administrator of Faso Koom, and Lacina Bakouan. environmental manager and sociologist. They work in the Faso Koom programme, part of the Blue Deal programme, where 5 Burkinabe water authorities and 4 Dutch water authorities are working together on improved water management.

Programme of the visit

The focus of the visit was to align all the activities within Faso Koom. In-depth sessions with colleagues from the consortium were held about stakeholder/conflict management, finance, climate change adaptation and monitoring. Also meetings with different board members were part of the programme. There was also time for some field visits to get a better understanding of the Dutch context and Dutch water challenges. The delegation visited polders around Amsterdam and Zwolle, went to Eems and Groningen and got the opportunity to visit a greenhouse as well.

Dealing with drought

The effective cooperation between the Burkinabe and the Dutch partners offers many opportunities for the Netherlands as well. The Netherlands is increasingly experiencing periods of droughts. Burkina Faso is an expert in this field, because it had to cope with droughts for decades already. The country learnt to deal with droughts by various nature-based solutions, like reforestation and stone bunds.

Adapting to climate change and coping with droughts is something The Netherlands really has to learn. Water management has always been dominated by discharging water. Now the Netherlands must learn how to retain water. For this, the Dutch can learn a lot from Burkina Faso! Learning from each other: the best way to adapt to climate change.