The Breaking the Barriers programme aims to increase rural women's jobs and income in the sustainable energy sector.
We have been working in the Sahel region of West Africa since the 1970s. The programme began with a humanitarian focus, but now includes advocacy work, especially in economic justice and governance, and supporting the development of strong civil society organisations.
The Sahel region is affected by food insecurity, conflict and natural disasters, such as drought and locust plagues. In Burkina Faso, more than 10 in every 1,000 children die before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition accounts for a third of these deaths.
Like its neighbouring countries, Burkina Faso is experiencing rising temperatures, making it more vulnerable to drought. Many parts of the country have also suffered devastating floods in recent years and the country is still suffering the effects of food crises.
In Burkina Faso, we aim to develop transformational solutions to climate variability and disasters for one million Burkinabe through improved climate prediction, behaviour change and the sharing of expertise and resilience technology.
This will be achieved through four key actions:
- Climate information sharing mechanisms are easy to use by communities and mechanisms for knowledge exchange are established in 353 villages of Burkina Faso, to transmit regular, reliable and comprehensible information on climate change, seasonal forecasting, early warning and practical solutions to build resilience.
- The livelihoods of the most vulnerable people in 353 targeted villages in Burkina Faso are improved by appropriate and sustainable interventions to reduce their vulnerability to variability, climate extremes and disasters.
- Strengthening the capacity of local actors to respond to variability, climate extremes and disasters.
- Improve understanding of what is working in building resilience to climate extremes and disasters and what constitute progressive and transformational change, including the factors affecting them.
In Burkina Faso we work on...
Through strategic partnerships, we provide the resources and knowledge to help implement programs so that rural people can benefit from subsistence and resilient means through better access to resources.
We work through local organisations to provide food assistance to those in greatest need, including treatment for malnourished children.
Resilience to disasters
We have introduced techniques to help communities cope better with droughts and food insecurity in the long term.
We work with communities in Burkina Faso to help them develop farming techniques which are profitable and can withstand the difficult conditions in the region.
We are introducing the concept of resilience to climate change in the community radio programmes, accompanied by a technical reinforcement of the radios to reach farmers, breeders and community-based organisations.
Soils and water conservation
We are building local capacity through the implementation of soil and water conservation activities to mitigate climate risk.
Income generating activity
We are diversifying income sources, reducing poverty, and helping to restore families’ respect and honour.
We are helping establish market gardens, enabling families to grow vegetables all year round and builds their resilience to adapt to the changes they face.
Interactive, educational sessions are run around issues related to malnutrition, such as family planning, breastfeeding, health during pregnancy, food and hygiene.
Where we work
Our Sahel programme operates in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal. In Burkina Faso, the project is implemented in three regions: East, Centre North and North. These include:
- four provinces: Passoré, Namentenga, Sanmatenga and Gnagna
- 13 municipalities: Samba, Latoden, Bagare, Tougouri, Zéguédéguin, Yalgo, Bouroum, Nagbingou, Pensa, Pissila, Bilanga, Bogandé, Piéla;
- and 353 villages.