by Judy Gray, World Neighbours Canada director
The security situation in Eastern Burkina Faso has deteriorated since the beginning of 2019. APDC, our partner organization reports that, “In relation to the implementation of activities, we can say that the issue of insecurity has not improved. There was even an attempt to prevent producers from returning to farming activities by executing 2 peasants in the Kompienga (Pama) area who were working in their fields. But in the area of Fada, not having known this case, the producers continued to engage in their work in fields to procure the productions necessary for the survival of their households.”
APDC director Charles Tankoano had also noted earlier in the year that “terrorist attacks have reduced the pace of activities and everyone lives in fear. Terrorists in the project area sometimes ask the villagers what the purpose of a meeting is. Also, information sessions and debates held at night have been suspended. Due to this insecurity, no major events such as the commemoration of 8 March 2019 (International Women’s Day) could be held in the project area. ”
One might assume that given the issues with insurgents and jihadist groups that the villagers and APDC staff might be ready to consider cancelling planned sessions and activities. Yet, this is not what we hear: “In this, the 4th year of our grant from Global Affairs Canada, the Burkina team continues to implement and expand project activities.” Tankoano explains that one of the most important positive factors is the availability and reliability of the funding and that is due to the support World Neighbours Canada currently receives from Global Affairs Canada.
The unrest has made from World Neighbours Canada impossible. The travel advisories published by the Canadian Government have continued to place a growing number of provinces in Burkina Faso in the “Red Zone” – in other words all travel is suspended. It has now been two years since a WNC director visited. It is clear that any such visit would put the staff of APDC and the villagers at tremendous risk, as well as the directors themselves.
While it saddens me that I can’t visit this country I have come to love and re-connect with staff whom I consider to be friends, I am so impressed by the work this small team continues to implement to allow the villagers to make positive changes to their lives in the face of extreme challenges. One can only hope that the situation improves in the coming year.
Stay tuned as we will publish an article outlining all that has been accomplished this year in Burkina Faso.
If you wish to read a more complete summary of the Annual Report, please look at the Program Areas page.