The POP-BF project kicked off with several workshop that took place in February 2018. The workshops offered a space for dialogue and cooperation amongst 11 regional and national institutes involved or with an interest in the management of the Ladwenda and Bidiga reservoirs. In addition to providing feedback and guidance on how to make the POP-BF project a success, participants discussed possible solutions to small reservoir management challenges and the role that environmental, socio-economic, and resource use data can play in guiding reservoir monitoring and investment decisions.
Burkina Faso has many small water reservoirs, to help bridge the annual dry season. Due to mismanagement, climate change impacts and local social tensions, the benefits have not been distributed equitably amongst local people and communities. Building on previous project experience, the POP-BF project will test the effectiveness of a number of community-driven social and ecological innovations in the collective management of small water reservoirs and aims to increase agricultural productivity.
These innovations will be selected through SNV managed ‘Innovation Platforms’ that provide a space to stakeholders for structured dialogue and learning through workshops, field days and the formation of interest-led community of practices.
During the workshops, students, scientists and policymakers took part in a skills training, offered by project partner King’s College, on the collection and use of environmental and ecosystem service. Throughout the POP-BF project, the University of Ouaga I and King’s College London, in close collaboration with communities, will collect and share environmental data, including information on weather, reservoir water quantity and quality, and irrigation activities.
In parallel, using household and mobile surveys, Bioversity International, University of Ouagadougou and SNV will collect data on reservoir use, local governance arrangements, and perceptions of management challenges and solutions. The aim is to democratise access to high value information that can inform reservoir use and management and associated farming activities (e.g. crop selection and watering).
The collected data and modelling tools, will be used to achieve the objective to increase agricultural production. Based on the data. the project will explore options for crop diversification in irrigated and upstream areas, and other environmentally and socially sustainable solutions identified in the Innovation Platforms.