The 2018 Water Fair (La Foire de l’Eau)

in Honor of World Water Day

March 21-25, Fada N’Gourma

The Water Fair, a first of its kind, brought together NGOs, for-profit companies, students, and the local population of the eastern region to facilitate greater cooperation to yield more sustainable impact in the water sector.

Components

The event consisted of 6 components (each component below links to the media gallery page for that component):
  • A Walk for Water to engage the local community to mobilize together to address Burkina’s water crisis
  • An Exhibition where NGOs in the water sector were able to promote their work
  • A Water Conference to share best practices and form alliances
  • Cultural Events and Live Concerts each night to sensitize audiences on the themes of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
  • A Gala Dinner to launch the International Water Fund, a new initiative to finance water projects in the eastern region of Burkina Faso; Madame Sika Kabore, the First Lady of Burkina Faso, was the “Godmother” of the Gala.

Opening Ceremony

On March 22, the day the world unites on a theme around water, we held the Opening Ceremony, which was supported by the Governor of the Eastern Region and the Mayor of Fada.
Cultural Sensitivity
In order to appropriately honor the local tradition of the Gour’mache kingdom, and to engage the king of the Gour’mache people, Fada Naba, the Water Fair also brought in the oral history of the Gour’mache people through a Guided Tour of the famous murals on the palace walls of the King of Fada.

Participating Authorities

It was supported by some of the country’s most eminent figures:
  • “Godmother” of the Dinner Gala: Madame Sika Kabore, the First Lady of Burkina Faso
  • “Godfather” of the event: The Ambassador of the US Embassy to Burkina Faso , Andrew Young
  • Patron of the event: The Minister of Water, Ambroise Niouga OUEDRAOGO
  • Co-Patron of the event: The Minister of Mines and Quarries, Oumarou Idani

Partnership

The Water Fair was supported by more than 20 for-profit and nonprofit organizations in Burkina Faso including the Burkina government.

Impact

The results we collectively achieved were impressive:
  • The mobilization of over 1000 people in Fada N’Gourma including students from 5 schools for the Walk for Water
  • The participation of over 100 state and non-state organizations
  • 821 visitors to the Water Fair Exhibition (Expo) at the Place des Martyrs
  • 20 presentations given on themes related to crucial issues in the water sector at the Conference
  • A synthesis of recommendations for advocacy with public authorities and donors (download the Water Conference Report here)
  • Over 5000 people attended the Nights of Fair with nationally renowned artist Sana Bob and over 3 dozen local artists, musicians and dance troupes
  • The official launch of the International Water Fund during the Gala Dinner sponsored by the First lady of Burkina Faso

Reciprocity

The Water Fair also successfully engaged schools, civic organizations and individuals in the United States to raise awareness about Burkina’s water crisis and to raise funds for the International Water Fund.
One highlight was Swampscott High School in Swampscott, MA which organized their own Walk for Water and did it indoors due to inclement weather! They even made a short film of their experience.

Press Coverage

In Burkina Faso: News Coverage in Burkina’s national newspaper “Sidwaya”:

Press Coverage

In the US: Lynn Item Live

Check out the national TV and Radio commercials for the Fair: