From what, comes what!

Publish date 21-06-2023

by Mauro Palombo

It's not an easy time for Burkina Faso. A large but not very populated country, a land of emigration to the nations to the south. In terms of human development indicators, it still languishes in the bottom positions, with life expectancy under 60, and food insecurity affecting nearly half of its very young people.

After fluctuating political experiences, with long periods of authoritarian governments and always exposed to the heavy influences of the former colonizers, for several years we have been living in a particular climate of insecurity due to the vast and bloody insurgence of Islamists on its borders ; which in addition to bringing war and millions of displaced people, has recently exacerbated political instability, with a succession of military coups.
But you don't give up on making something new, despite everything. Burkina continues to be full of initiatives to promote the life of people and communities; between the action of the cooperators and that of many local associations. An example, the project of the "solar refrigerator" carried out together with the Brothers of the Holy Family (FSF) - with their network of schools and vocational training centers, and their decisive commitment - an opportunity for a more direct Sermig presence, after the support given over the years to various other initiatives.
From what comes what, and thanks to that meeting, we now find ourselves enthusiastically committed on the one hand to following up on that good experience, helping to structure local production, and on the other to pursuing other opportunities.

From the on-site work of an agronomist friend the project for the construction of an "egg incubator" powered by solar thermal was born. Soon, the first prototypes will be tested in the FSF centres; after two Burkinabé technicians trained in Italy, others will be created together, to then start local production independently. For the school it is a new training and work opportunity; while it could be a resource for rural communities, generally without access to electricity, to start up poultry farms for meat or laying. Generation of income and availability of food at affordable conditions, for which there is great demand.
Here, as everywhere in Africa, it is truly essential to have the professionalism of good technicians, still too few... It is important to expand the possibilities of professional training and laboratories; at the moment, a theme under development is that of hydraulics, in particular applied to the pumping of wells. Another point to explore is the possibility of working as a secondary raw material, the plastic collected and recycled by cooperatives that involve a large number of poor people in this activity.

Particularly interesting is the FSF project for the construction of a new Agricultural Training Center in Jamboai, in the north of neighboring Ghana; which can really bring about a change for the people of the area, in search of better living conditions. First involved are families, to whom land and structures are made available, to develop together the ability to improve productivity, leaving pure subsistence, producing a surplus to be transformed, or commercialised, opening up opportunities to access the market in a fair. Even with new techniques, introducing beekeeping.
Once again, relationship, support, exchange of skills, experiences and technical achievements, to give strength to new paths.

Mauro Palombo
NP March 2023

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