I would like to share with you a very quick review of Burkina Faso’s Humanitarian crisis. It may be long, but take some time to read, do not hesitate to comment or share your thoughts.
According to Burkina Faso’s Humanitarian Response Plan Reports, approximately 1.3 million people urgently need humanitarian assistance as a result of natural disasters, malnutrition, food insecurity, and conflicts.
The Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Burkina Faso: What do we know?
In 2019, IDPs were estimated to be approximately 288,994 people. Due to increased insecurity in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country, local communities have to run away from their permanent homes and seek for shelters in the nearest urban cities, where they are facing a lot of challenges (https://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/burkina-faso-unhcr-operational-update-august-2019-0).
While many of us were enjoying holidays and New Year celebrations at home with our beloved families, this was not the case for IDPs. The number of people living in internal displacement as a result of conflict or violence has reached half a million people as of 31 December 2019; and this number increases as violence, conflicts, and insecurity persist in the country (https://www.internal-displacement.org/countries/burkina-faso). Today, the number of IDPs is estimated to be approximately 848,329 people (https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/burkina-faso).
Food security? The statistics are astonishing.
It was reported that 3% of the population (approximately 687,000 people) would require urgent food assistance as they are facing famine, especially during the lean season when food scarcity is strong. Also, regular environmental shocks like floods as well as limited livelihoods contribute to increasing food scarcity for the most vulnerable communities (https://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/burkina-faso-food-assistance-fact-sheet-updated-august-14-2019).
There is a lot of work to do. We cannot leave these people alone. Despite the existence of dozens of NGOs in our territory ‘’trying’’ to help in reducing inequalities, the goals are still far from being reached. We have NGOs that have been for working for more than 2 decades in the country fighting for a cause that persists today.
We need to take responsibility for our future because no one is going to save us. When we talk about being independent, I think we should not rely on foreign AID to have basic education, to eat or to drink some clean water. I am confident that we are capable of achieving great things without their assistance. Why? Because that was achieved before. Thomas Sankara was able to eradicate food insecurity in the country after only 4 years of leadership. He already showed us the way; all we have to do is to apply his visions accordingly.
For so long we have been witnessing many irregularities in the leadership, inequalities, and injustices as a result of bad governance, and it is time for us, to make a real change. Millions of people are starving and dying because they do not have access to basic healthcare services, clean water, and sanitation, basic education, decent housing, security, etc. It does not make any sense for us to enjoy our so-called privileges if our families, our people, our neighbors, are still suffering/dying. Burkina Faso is not only limited to Ouagadougou or Bobodioulasso. I see many people, especially youth who got no idea about the state and the reality of our nation. They think we are fine because they got roofs on their heads, food on their tables; they go to nice schools, etc. What they ignore is that just at about 10 Km in the outskirts of our ‘’urban cities’’ we got people living in unplanned settlements, with very limited resources, and mercilessly trying to survive daily (not even mentioning people in rural areas). It is not a secret that our leaders when making the country’s development programs usually forget these people, or only consider them (forgotten communities) when it is beneficial to them (leaders). No one should be left behind, no matter how limited our resources can be. I cannot finish my speech without quoting our patriot Thomas Sankara when he was saying ‘’we have to choose between Champagne for few people and clean water for all’’. I think this statement is very clear and it should remind us that our goals are far from being reached and there is still a lot of work to do.