Bread produced at the Bissiri project

Rural Development Project in Burkina Faso

This is a request from Burkina Faso for a Microdonation from Foundation Emanuele Antola:

Rural Development

Project description:
Our center is situated just at the edge of the artificial lake of Bissiri, deep in the country side of Burkina Faso, 45 kilometers south of the capital, Ouagadougou.
The region is extremely poor, with high rate of unemployment, dirt roads, no electricity, bore holes as a source of water, mud brick huts as shelter and more than 80% people illiterate. People traditionally make their living by growing their own food and rearing cattle for the most fortunate.

We have 4 hectares of land divided in two plots and 3 buildings. The main structure is a dormitory style building, another big store room houses our cereal bank, and a two room building has become a small clinic. The land was given by the community who expect us to assist in their development by creating employment and helping them satisfy their basic necessities of life.

• Farming and trainings:
Five families are currently living and working here. We grow vegetables and have a papaya, citrus and mango orchard. We have installed some irrigation system to improve the production and income generation through vegetable production in dry season when the prices go up.
We are introducing organic techniques and different programs included several successful demonstration projects and community mobilization campaigns (i.e. tippy tap school programs, watershed practices, agro forestry and groundwater recharge). Now the production and distribution of organic crops is slowly being organized at the community level. We are aiming at forming a producer cooperative in future.

• Bee Keeping Project
We established a bee keeping project with 7 hives and the material for collecting honey. The aim is to show the community an example of a low budget economic activity.

• Bakery
Since one year we are making our own bread. We bake in a dry mud bricks oven in a very traditional way. We trained one brother who now bakes every day, there is no bread available in the neighbourhood. The bread is nice, everyone rejoices and one employment is created.

• Moringa Project
In partnership with brother Dinakar and his association Amandla Awethu Africa (USA) we are starting a project based on the utilization of the Moringa tree. Moringa is a wonderful tree; dried and powered leaves are a highly nutritious food supplement, other parts of the trees have medicinal value, the seeds produce very precious oil! This project aims at financial sustainability for itself and its beneficiaries. We intend to export Moringa based products, create and supply local markets with the same, and train the villagers to maintain their own Moringa gardens. We aim to integrate that activity in our coming cooperative of farmers.

• Literacy classes
Approximately 15 village youths attend evening literacy classes at our centre in Bissiri village. Most of these students did not get the chance to attend school. A local teacher gives support to them and in exchange receives a very modest payment (each student contributes about $2 a month).

• The clinic
Our clinic in Bissiri center has been opened 2 years ago. We have one qualified nurse and one assistant. It is open 24 hours and every day. It is a small dispensary but the area is big and a population of over 5,000 people benefits greatly from it. Basically it is a charitable activity, fees are extremely low and at times medicines are given free to the neediest. We wish to use more alternative medicines, to do health promotion and outreach services in the community.
Project history:
Our history:
The Bissiri Community Center was started in the early 1990’s, after Dada Rudreshvaranandaji flew over the village on the way to Ouagadougou. What he saw from the air was a large water source, and lots of underutilized land. Once on the ground, he found the village and discovered that there was a high rate of unemployment and felt the peoples’ determined will to fulfill their most basic needs. Since its genesis, the center has expanded to include literacy classes, cultivation of organic vegetables (maraichage) and a community-based cereal bank. Within the last 4 years we have been able to open a primary health clinic, which employs two professional nurses. This social clinic is the first of its kind in the area, and serves over 5,000 people from Bissiri and surrounding villages.

Project background:
The community of Bissiri is located 45 kilometers south of the capital city of Ouagadougo. The region is extremely poor, with a high rate of unemployment, dirt roads and a nearly 80% illiteracy rate. The people are much dependent on agriculture as their main source of livelihood.
Farmers in Bissiri farm in one of the most unforgiving natural and economic climates in the world, where soil infertility, drought and dependency on imported seeds and agro chemicals are commonplace. Not only do smallholders find it near impossible to find the means to be productive on all their landholdings, leaving most of their land uncultivated, but locating consistent buyers for their produce is a constant struggle. Due to a lack of processing equiptment and facilities in the village, they are compelled to sell only raw materials. As farmers grow so little, they sell what they have at a time when traders only offer them a give away price.
Bissiri experiences a long dry season, lasting over 8 months, and temperatures reaching well over 40 degrees celcius much of the year. People in the area obtain water for consumption and irrigation from a nearby, rain-fed reservoir. This reservoir, is however, becoming polluted due to chemical run-off from nearby farms.
Malnutrition, especially among women and young children, is widespread across the rural areas of Burkina Faso. In our clinic, we have witnessed many cases of anemia in pregnant women and other nutritional deficiencies among the children. Despite being a major health issue, malnutrition can affect one’s economic and learning capacities.

Project mission:
This comprehensive project seeks to address challenges facing small-scale family farmers, provides health care, promote sustainable methods of food production, strengthen links within the supply chain and combat malnutrition. In essence, this project is largly rooted in practical educational iniatives and capacity building.

Financial budget:
This is our wish to improve the center by getting a water tower to fit on our bore hole. This is a basic need for our tree nursery, clinic and processing facility for Moringa production.
Total needed :1200 USD

Micro donation request:
Water tank = 315
Water tower = 190
Pump = 315
Generator = 205
Connections and piping given by private donor.

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