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Burkina Faso

DWF Women potters with new kiln save energy and improve revenues

Development Workshop worked in Burkina Faso from 1995 to 2014 when DWF handed over its operations to its locally registered NGO partner, DW Burkina Faso. Other partners such as the Association Kologh Naba also work with woodless construction and with builders trained by DWF.

Since 1980 in the countries of the Sahel DW promoted the development of sustainable housing and human establishments based on respect for existing values and on the availability of human, material and financial resources which are fundamental to a durable approach and to good management of the natural resources of the region. Needs and the availability of resources of the countries of West Africa are changing rapidly: systems which have proved their viability over the course of centuries are often unable today to meet current needs or to match the resources available. It is in this context that DWF promotes sustainable approaches for a form of development which can serve the people as part of a changing process.

In the Sahel, promoting “woodless construction’ has been the main focus of DW’s activities since 1980, and in Burkina Faso since 1995.

The term “woodless construction” designates techniques originating in Egypt and in Iran which enable one to build roofs for traditional housing without using wood, a major factor in the destruction of the forests of the region and in accelerating desertification. Woodless construction saves trees and helps sustain co² storage.

A second major activity provide support to women potters, provding them with kils that save more than 80% of their fuel consumption and enabel women to produce new items on the market and to make a profit from their work and products.

DW develops the building skills of young people, supports the activities of female potters, develops structures for economic activities and encourages local income generation helping to break the rural exodus. The promotion of woodless construction in Niger, in Mali and in Burkina Faso was been recognised by the World Habitat Award in 1998.

DW works in close collaboration with the inhabitants of towns and villages in the region, with local authorities and with other NGO partners for the realisation of school and administrative buildings.

DW’s actions in Burkina Faso

Main objective

To establish a capacity to meeting housing, environmental and decentralisation needs, based on the use of locally available human and physical resources.

Development objectives

  • To contribute to the development of the local economy and to poverty reduction;
  • To reduce the pressure on the natural environment by saving wood and stopping trees being cut; 
  • To enhance local capacity to meet housing needs in a changing environment;
  • To develop practical skills in the field of housing, and notably woodless construction and related techniques;
  • To develop an institutional framework to ensure the economic and operational efficiency of the persons trained.

DW’s actions are based on :

A response to requests for support and training coming from the villages and departments of the northern provinces of Burkina Faso.  Public workshops held with communities identify shelter, environment problems and social needs that can be met by developing local skills and the use of local material and human resources

DWF offers of training programmes and support to people chosen by the participants during the workshops.

  • Training in woodless construction skills for novice builders and technicians;
  • Training and assistant to women’s groups  particularly related to the production of ceramic products used in and on houses, including improving quality and reducing fuel consumption;
  • Training for the setting up of economic interest groups to help trained people organise themselves for work.

Technical assistant is provided to provincial services, and involves collaboration with local authorities in the process of administrative decentralisation, helping develop infrastructure suing local skills developed by DW.