Access to water remains one of the biggest concerns of the government and partners of the State of Burkina Faso. Many efforts are being made in the field, thanks to the complementary actions of many actors working alongside the government: NGOs, companies, technical and financial partners. In order to respond more to the needs expressed in terms of access, quality and availability of water resources, it is essential that all these actors unite their actions to meet the challenge of access to drinking water which is now recognized as a human right in its own right. In an environment with unstable climatic fluctuations from one season to another, uncontrolled rainfall with floods and droughts, it is important to be able to find solutions and take adequate measures to ensure the sustainability of the resource.
It is with this in mind that the BARKA Foundation and Initiative: Eau, in collaboration with their partners, took the initiative to organize the Water Fair in Fada N'Gourma, capital of the Eastern Region. During the event, stakeholders working in the field of water in Burkina Faso were able to share information, experiences, and build partnerships to increase the effectiveness of actions to deal with the problem of access to drinking water, as well as an opportunity to dialogue with the people, consumers and users of water.
The Fair that was held for World Water Day, 22 March 2018, had 5 components which together made de event: the Exhibition, the Congress, the Parade, the International Water Fund Gala, and the Nights.
The Fair opened the main city square, La Place des Martyrs, to those working in the sector to exhibit their projects and raise awareness about their work to the local population. Artists and traders from the community were also invited to sell their products in the square, promoting the local economy and giving visibility to independent workers. During the three days of the event, the exhibition brought together approximately 800 visitors to the stands.
The first day of the Fair was marked by a march to mobilize participants and the citizens of Fada around the issue of water. The parade brought together over a thousand people, ranging from professionals of the sector to students, local associations, women, and others who decided to join the movement all marching and chanting “l’eau, c’est la vie,” “kom, la vim,” and “mi ñima, n tie li miali.” -- meaning “water is life” in French, Moore, and Gourmantche, respectively.