Analysis of stakeholder perceptions and practices related to climate change adaptation in Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso, like other Sahelian countries, has experienced a profound change in its climatic regime,
with the new context characterised by high rainfall variability with an overall downward trend and a
shortening of the seasons. The future rainfall pattern anticipates a decrease in the frequency of low
rainfall (0.1 to 5 mm per day), a lengthening of the average duration of dry sequences, and an early end
and late start of rainy seasons. The objective of this study was to perform an in-depth analysis of stakeholder perceptions about agricultural water (AgWater) resources sustainability, practices in the context of climate variability and change in Burkina Faso. Interviews were held with institutional actors involved in water resources decision making and initiatives (Government, Research, Non-Governmental Organisations) in the country. In addition, based on four main criteria (climate condition, type of farm and crop, type of AgWater sources, reliability of AgWater), three agricultural sites were investigated using household surveys. The results showed that organisations and farmers in Burkina Faso were aware of climate impacts and had initiated and implemented for many years, diverse options and water control mechanisms for AgWater adaptation. However, there were still gaps in strategies for adapting the water sector to climate threats. Institutional bodies had not got yet attained capacity to sustainably anticipate the effects of climate change on AgWater. There was a lack of mainstreaming hydroclimate services at farm levels, especially for the dry season crops; lack of on-farm flood control mechanisms, absence of a clear gender approach and no standardised monitoring system, Farmers also lacked anticipatory resilience strategies, particularly those who used water sources that were considered as “reliable” then. In general, most of the climate adaptation initiatives implemented lacked synergies, sustainability, and were uncertain about sound water resource management such as moving towards “no regret” and “win-win” options.