Burkina Faso Burkina by keralaguest


									                                                 Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is landlocked and predominantly flat, with its North located in the semi-arid Sahel region, and
its central and Southern zones located in the dry and humid Savannah belts of West Africa. The country
mainly dependent on self-subsistence agriculture. Owing to a very dry climate, there are great challenges in
terms of food security, land degradation and natural resources management.

The major environmental problems facing Burkina Faso are recurrent drought and the advance of the
northern desert into the savannah. This trend toward desertification has been increased by overgrazing of
pasture, slash-and-burn agriculture, and over cutting of wood for fuel. Almost all the trees within 40 km (25
mi) of the capital have been felled. The frequency of droughts in Burkina Faso and its location in the Sahara
desert contribute to the nation's water supply problems.

The acceleration of the desertification process continues as at present: actions to curb desertification are too
tentative, selective and uncoordinated; the rate of climate change continues. In this case, there will be a
climatic upheaval in Burkina Faso by 2020: the north of the country will have a climate shift from semi-arid to
arid, the centre, from sub-humid to semi-arid and the south from humid to sub-humid. Forest areas will
decrease at a rate that will not be compensated for by new forest plantations. Rural poverty will deepen, the
living physical environment will continue to be degraded, and food security will be in doubt. The socio-
economic cost of that degradation will greatly exceed the cost currently required to slow down and eventually
arrest the present process and lead to sustainable development. However, strategies and policies for natural
resource management are accepted and implemented by all partners, principally by the rural population.
Measures are taken at all levels by mutual agreement of all concerned parties, to facilitate all the actions
necessary at community level and to lend support to the implementation of local development programmes
planned by the local people, with the help of experts from the public and private services, each according to
their competence and commitment. Large land areas are rehabilitated and responsibly managed by small
farmers, and land protection and rehabilitation techniques appropriate to each agro-ecological area are used.
Food security is assured and food produce is available and accessible for the whole population. Agriculture is
increasingly geared to the market. It is clear that this is a long-term scenario. This prospect is not utopian,
however, and some villages in Burkina Faso are developing favourably.

Industry and Chemical
The forests of Burkina Faso are most directly threatened by the mining industry, which is especially
damaging due to archaic mining techniques, and by slash-and-burn agriculture and tree-cutting for fuel wood
to sustain a rapidly growing population.

Water and Sanitation
The water resources potential of Burkina Faso is highly dependent on rainfall, which is characterized by
sharp fluctuations in any given year, as well as by very unequal distribution among the regions. The country
has 17.5 cu km of renewable water resources, but only 66% percent of the city population and 37% of rural
dwellers have access to safe water. According to the World Health Organization, about 80% of all disease in
Burkina Faso is caused by unsafe water. Pollution problems result from uncontrolled disposal of sewage and
industrial wastes. According to the 2006 Human Development Report, produced by the United Nations
Development Programme, latest figures indicate that 39 percent of Burkina Faso's population does not have
access to a suitable water source. Just 13 percent of Burkina Faso are said to have access to adequate
sanitation facilities. Authorities try to make people aware of the dangers of poor sanitation, and also order the
closure of polluted wells when informed of their existence. However, the latest Human Development Report
still points to a lack of effective national programmes to improve the situation. The dearth of environmental
planning with housing developments is an area of concern. Dams are also polluted by waste, as is the water

                                                                     UNEP Regional Office for Africa – February 2008
                                                Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has no primary tropical forests and limited biodiversity. The country's natural forestry
formations are divided into two domains: the non-protected domain (11 604 000 ha, i.e. 75% of formations)
and the protected domain (3 816 000 ha, i.e. 25% of formations). World Resources Institute notes 1,100
species of plants, 452 birds, and 147 mammals in the country. The protected formations (protected forests
and the silvi-pastoral and partial fauna reserve) are 65 and cover a total area of 2 678 747 ha.

The part of the population using only traditional energies (firewood, charcoal, and agricultural waste
materials) to meet energy needs is estimated at 90 percent. Consequently, better organization of traditional
sources of energy is clearly required. Some steps have been taken to address the concerns of the population
through the promotion of alternative energy sources to meet constantly rising demand. Accordingly, the
government has decided to set a process in motion whereby communities take ownership of reforestation
activities, in particular through implementation of the national village forestry program and the second phase
of the national soil management program; to help strengthen institutional and management capacities with
respect to brushfire prevention; to make more effective use of forestry resources through streamlined
management and operations; to rehabilitate degraded forestry resources; to meet the demand of rural
inhabitants for ligneous fuels.

                                                                   UNEP Regional Office for Africa – February 2008

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