Burkina Faso/Endogenous development: Parzakin, a model village!
Aware of the virtues of endogenous development, the inhabitants of the village of Parzakin, in the commune of Diabo, Gourma province, have decided to take their destiny into their own hands. They did so by carrying out maintenance work on the access road to their village. Since May 27, 2023, their community development initiative has entered its operational phase. Chronicle of a landmark initiative!
End of 2021! People from the village who had left Ouagadougou to return home noticed the deterioration of the access road to the village, and the consequences of this: accidents, difficulties for people to sell their potatoes, etc. Back in Ouagadougou, the information was relayed at a meeting to the Parzakinois living in Ouagadougou. They launched a membership drive that included, without exception, all Parzakinois living in Burkina and Côte d'Ivoire.
At the beginning of January 2022, the operation began and ran until the end of March. But the April 2022 deadline for starting work proved too short to mobilize sufficient resources. "In the meantime, we approached a company that was carrying out roadworks just a stone's throw from Parzakin, to request their support at a social cost. But the bill was obviously very high," recalls Moussa Kaboré, one of the eldest Parzakinois living in Ouaga. This led to the idea of extending the deadline for contributions in order to mobilize more resources to complete the work in 2023.
In March 2023, the project began in earnest. In response to the need expressed by the local population for work materials, the Ouaga-based project management unit purchased 2 wheelbarrows, 4 shovels, 2 crowbars, 4 large hammers, 4 pickaxes and 20 pairs of gloves. Equipped with this equipment, the local people, like a brigade, set about crushing large stones on a daily basis. The result: stones equivalent to twenty tricycle trips combined. "I've practically witnessed the work done by the young people of the village. It was back-breaking work that lasted several weeks," testifies Dayendé Kaboré, the village patriarch. The pebbles were then collected and transported to the roadside by a tricycle, whose services were hired out, as was the collection of laterite to reinforce the work to be carried out.
In the meantime, the project management unit, through the intermediary of the General Manager of Road Maintenance, Salfo Pacéré, was in contact with the Eastern Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Opening-up (DR Est/MID). This led to a visit to the road by agents from the aforementioned department. Their sound advice led to the purchase of gabion cages in Ouaga, which will enable the work to be carried out over the long term.
Parzakin emptied of its inhabitants for the works
Then, on Saturday May 27, 2023, Parzakin was emptied of its inhabitants for the work proper, including a fringe of its women mobilized for the cooking that had begun since the crushing stage. The neighboring village of Pissalboré, whose inhabitants also use the road, is represented at the work. A delegation of Parzakinois from Ouaga and agents from the DR Est/MID also made the trip from Fada. "We rarely see such an initiative, which is to be welcomed. That's why our management felt it necessary to contribute its technical expertise," says Lazarre Bationo, one of the agents involved. He added: "Our technical expertise consisted in assessing the quality of the laterite and showing people how to plug the holes using gabion cages. We also visited the Wankannin River and advised on the work to be done there with cement to facilitate its crossing".
Patriarch Dayendé Kaboré expressed his satisfaction: "We would like to thank all the local people who have rallied round since the beginning of the process, not forgetting our offspring, whose contributions have made this work possible, as well as the provision of food on occasion". He concluded by thanking the Ministry of Infrastructure for its support, through its Eastern Regional Management and its executives Salfo Pacéré, Jean Téwendé Kyélem, Théodore Ouédraogo and Mathieu Lompo.
Work continued over the following days until June 6. With the winter season upon us, the rest of the work is scheduled for the next dry season, with the hope that in the meantime, one of the Ministry of Infrastructure's road projects will involve the administrative village of Seiga and one of its model components, Parzakin.