Case Examples

Country Assessments: Africa

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Burkina Faso
Information Source: Burkina Faso: Country Assessment Report.
The World Bank, AFTU 1 & 2. January 2002.
Burkina Faso Map Location Photo - Burkina Faso

Context Summary

One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso has a high population density, few natural resources, and a fragile soil.. About 90% of the population is engaged in mainly subsistence agriculture. With a population of 11.6 million, 18% were urban in 1999. It ranks 172 out of 174 in the Urban Development Index.

One of the first urban upgrading projects in all of the West Africa Region was started in 1974 in Bukina Faso by UNDP and UN-Habitat. Between 1983 and 1990, the Government implemented a massive national urban upgrading program during which more than 125,000 plots were regularized. However, these ‘lotissements’ were generally not accompanied by investment in adequate infrastructure. New donor projects are largely focused on providing these services, with additional focus on community participation.

Most peri-urban areas possess regular plots in a grid pattern, except for the most recent, as a result of the national ‘lotissement’ policy of the 1980s. An average of 22% of the capital Ouagadougou is connected to water: 49.7% in the center and 0.5% in the informal settlements. The majority have only access to latrines. Most roads are unpaved.

Lessons from Recent Projects - Summary

Regularized and Legalized Land Policy

• By conceiving of the upgrading as a process in phases, the government was able to implement a massive policy of lotissement provision without investments in infrastructure, services, and facilities.
• The replicability of the lotissement policy seems difficult, even in the same country, within the new political context of market liberalization.
• Land speculation is now the main problem in the upgrading of informal settlements in a free market country with a nationalized land system.

Service Delivery

• The ‘lotissement’ policy disassociated the regularization of land and service delivery, permitting a national upgrading policy to begin without foreign support and with low investments.
• Maintenance protocols in project formulation ensure sustainability of infrastructure through agreements between the municipality and the communities, and between the community and the service deliverers.

Community Participation

• Local population can participate in project identification, partial financing, physical contribution, and maintenance programs provided the following exist:

  • specific know-how at the ground level in order to launch and manage the participatory process (social intermediation team);
  • adequate contract management for small investments co-financed by the population to avoid administrative delays;
  • suitable procedures for programming and financing of investments.
  • rules of participation clear and transparent to strengthen the willingness of the communities to make a financial contribution.

Social Intermediation Team

• The Team is necessary to implement a demand-responsive or participatory approach. The total cost, the way that this activity should be evaluated, and the legal structure that should support this activity needs review.

Limits of the Demand-Responsive Approach Project

• Secondary and tertiary infrastructure (within the neighborhood) that can be implemented with the contribution of the population. However, this approach cannot be applied for primary trunk infrastructure.
• Gutter digging micro-projects are often difficult to implement because of the lack of trunk infrastructure (primary drainage).

For more information:
Click on:
Foreword and Introduction to Assessment
1. Problems and Context
2. Current Situation
3. Policy Context and Institutional Framework
4. Upgrading Projects and Programs
5. Case Study: Third Urban Environment Project
6. Lessons Learned
7. Challenges and Proposed Next Steps
Annex A: Country and City Profiles
Annex B: Bibliography
Annex C: Contact Information
Annex D: Photographs
Annex E: Abbreviations and Acronyms

Download for Printing:
Download Report (Acrobat PDF file, 260k)

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