Good practice for borehole drilling in Burkina Faso


This document presents the field study undertaken in february/march 2017 on the drilling sector in Burkina Faso. This work has been conducted as part of the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) 2015-2017 established between UNICEF and the Skat Foundation called: Striving for Professionalism in Cost-Effective Boreholes (SPICE) – Phase IV.


In Burkina Faso, concerns have been raised regarding the high number of handpump boreholes that have failed, or need to be rehabilitated within a relatively short time of their initial construction. If Burkina Faso is to reach its drinking water supply targets it cannot afford poor quality works. This document reports on a mission by Skat Foundation, UNICEF and the Government of Burkina Faso to document and explore ways of addressing the problems faced. Physical audits of handpump boreholes in 2013 and 2014 in Burkina Faso raise concerns over water quality, inappropriate handpump for deep water and non-conformant pumps. In more than one third of cases, the handpump boreholes will function poorly, or cease to function completely within a few years. It is estimated that investments of between FCFA 0.6 billion (€0.9 million) and FCFA 2.9 billion (€4.5 million) per year are lost due to the installation of poor quality handpumps and other aspects of the construction. In one year, over 130,000 people were provided a water supply service that is likely to break down within a few years.



UNICEF Programme Division (New York, USA) is working with Skat Foundation (Switzerland) to support in-country processes that raise the professional standards of borehole drilling across a number of countries in Africa. In 2016 this collaboration led to the publication of a Guidance Note on Water Well Drilling Professionalism (UNICEF/Skat Foundation, 2016), four short animated films and included in-country support to three countries. Following a request from UNICEF Burkina Faso, it was agreed that Skat Foundation would undertake a short  mission to Burkina Faso to support the government and partners to develop a roadmap to develop a code of good practice and to improve the quality of borehole construction.


Danert K, Ouedraogo JP, Balima A, and Zombre A

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