Human rights to water Water and Sanitation in Burkina Faso – lessons from theory and practice

To what extent has human rights and human rights based approaches been used in the Water and Sanitation sector in Burkina Faso? The Helpdesk was asked to review government policies, discusss with key actors in the Burkinabe Water sector and interview Sida staff in Ouagadougou about their lessons learned. We found that the right to water and sanitation has strong legal backing in Burkina through international conventions and national legislation. The government has also adopted a policy on human rights which includes the mainstreaming of the principles of participation, transparency, accountability and non-discrimination in all government sectors. It is however only recently that the government and the sector actors have started openly discussing water and sanitation as a human right. There are good opportunities for improving accountability mechamisms, making better use of available data and increasing awareness and capacity. Sweden could further promote this development and explore opportunities for synergies between programmes in the water and sanitation and democracy, human rights and gender sectors.

Findings have been shared with the water sector in Burkina Faso and discussed at Sida’s Democracy, Human rights and Gender network meeting in Maputo in March 2015 and Sida’s Water network in Stockholm in May 2015.

The project was commissioned by Ana Gren, Policy Specialist in Water resources managament at Sida Headquarters in Stockholm and Albert Campaore and Karin Borovic at the Swedish Embassy in Ouagadougou.

For more information see the Thematic Brief or the Full report available in English and French.

Authors: Olof Drakenberg and David Nilsson