“Africa is the continent of solutions! It is mobilizing, evolving and taking on new responsibilities.” These were the enthusiastic terms that the French Minister of International Development and Francophony, Annick Girardin, used in her closing remarks on April 28th, following her 48-hour visit to Burkina Faso.
The primary purpose of her trip was to lay the groundwork for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) that will be held in Paris this December. Ouagadougou was the second stop on her West Africa tour that commenced on April 25th. During her trip, Ms. Girardin visited Livelihoods’ clean cookstove project in Burkina Faso that is being implemented in the field by the local Burkinabe NGO Tiipaalga. The visit took place in the village of Zakin (50 km from Ouagadougou).
This project aims to help the rural populations adapt to desertification and climate change by adopting eco-friendly “banco” stoves that they will fabricate themselves. “Banco” is made from inexpensive locally-sourced ingredients: manure, straw, water, and clay (or termite ground termite mound). These stoves will reduce wood consumption by up to 60% compared to the traditional 3-stone Burkinabe stoves, which will help minimize deforestation and also bring benefits to the local women (i.e. less time spent collecting firewood, reduced health risks thanks to less smoke exposure, etc.). The project aims to equip 30,000 households with improved stoves (a minimum of two stoves per family) in the northern provinces of Bam and Loroum.
Ms. Girardin had the chance to see the live construction of an improved cookstove with more than a hundred local women present in the village of Zakin. Following the construction of an improved cookstove, Ms. Girardin had the chance to visit some local households to see how the new stoves were being used by the local populations.
The French Minister underlined the importance of concrete solutions that address development and climate change simultaneously- a key theme of the upcoming COP21.
In her letter to Tiipaalga following her visit, Ms. Girardin stated: “Development needs to be local in order to be sustainable. It needs to be built upon simple technologies that can be adopted by the local populations. Real results against climate change stem from the sum of many actions at the micro level like what I witnessed in Zakin and in the other zones where Tiipaalga operates. It’s the result of all these actions that will allow our society and our environment to manage global warming.”
For more information about our project with Tiipaalga visit: http://www.livelihoods.eu/portfolio/tiipaalga/