Lake Bam Launch of Rehabilitation Project
by Victoria Waidbacher (comments: 0)
Lake Bam, 2,600 ha large, is the largest natural water body in Burkina Faso. It is exploited for farming vegetables (such as: rice, maize, sorghum, etc.), for fishing, livestock breeding, domestic uses and many other purposes. Today the lake is overused and depleted so that it has to be rehabilitated. To give some figures of its degradation, the lake receives 500,000 m3 of sand every year: compared to its stocking capacity the lake will disappear in 25-30 years. The lake hosts 700 fishermen instead of less than 30 as recommended by the FAO. This compromises the ability of the lake to continuously provide substantial livelihoods to the people living nearby. Meanwhile Lake Bam is a Ramsar site since 2009.
Therefore the government of Burkina Faso decided to rehabilitate the lake. A project was designed some years ago. The PhD thesis of Raymond OUEDRAOGO, a former APPEAR fellow who studied at BOKU-University was a great input for the fish part of the project formulation. Meanwhile Lake Bam is a study area of the research project titled Sustainable Management of Water and Fish Resources in Burkina Faso (Susfish, www.susfish.ac.at) also funded by APPEAR.
Therefore Susfish could not miss the opportunity to present our results to the highest authorities of the country and to the largest audience in Burkina Faso and worldwide, as many medias (TV, written newspapers, radio, …) were invited to the ceremony on the 3rd of March 2017 to launch the rehabilitation project in the city of Kongoussi on the banks of the lake. Susfish stirred up great interest in the participation among the General Directorate for Fish Resources, the Institute for Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA) and the local fishing communities (fishermen, female fish processors and fishmongers). Together they presented some smoked and fresh fish from the lake, fishing and fish farming equipment, collection of fish species and a poster about the ruin of the lake seen from fish and fishing perspectives.
The President of Burkina Faso (i.e. President of the Republic), the Head of the Parliament, some ministers, Members of Parliament, Directors, Mayors, etc. were all interested in our results.