“We are convinced that this fight for sustainable development is necessary and that it can have more concrete effects when it is waged at the local level ” Bourahima Sanou, Mayor of Bobo Dioulasso
Mr. Bourahima Sanou, 48, Mayor of Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, is a lover of nature. A lawyer and administrator of local authorities by training, he decided to dedicate his energy to political life when he was elected mayor in June 2016.
His political responsibilities do not prevent him from going every night on his farm, a peaceful haven located 15 km from the city of Bobo Dioulasso, where he grows many plants (bananas, corn, vegetables etc.) which some of the fertilizer used to grow them comes from the farm itself. Its water supply is provided by a pump running on solar energy, but also by a system allowing the recovery of rainwater. This allows him to master this resource, in an area where access to water has become a challenge. He is also involved in animal husbandry, with poultry and livestock. The farm even has a pond where silurus (catfish) are present, the sacred animal and symbol of the city of Bobo Dioulasso, thus contributing to their preservation.
Bourahima Sanou gave a privileged interview, on his farm, to the ICLEI team in partnership with GIZ on this project, in December 2019. It was an opportunity to present projects and initiatives in favor of development which he carried out both as a local elected official and as a citizen committed to the fight against climate change.
The mayor never fails to recall the role of messengers played by local elected officials who are both in contact with local populations, on a daily basis, but also in direct contact with officials at the national and international levels. This allows local elected officials to relay the needs of the local population and, in turn, to inform local communities of the national and transnational challenges related to access to energy and climate. Convinced that it is through cumulative efforts at the local level that the impact will be greatest, Bourahima Sanou likes to stress that local communities are an integral part of the fight against climate change.
Since his election, Mayor Sanou has focused on ecology and sustainable development, implementing many concrete actions such as the protection of oxbow lakes and small tropical swamps. The vibrancy of this city convinced the partners of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa to work with Bobo Dioulasso.
Since the city’s official accession to the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa in November 2019, the partners have been working alongside the municipality to collect precise scientific data, as part of the development of the Action Plan for Access to Energy and Climate (SEACAP), which will make it possible to better inform political decision-makers to define actions and take concrete and effective measures against the effects of climate change. The process also includes training, notably on access to climate finance, and support for various infrastructure projects, notably for their technical and financial feasibility.
In addition, the Mayor stressed the opportunity represented by the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to him, the Covenant is “an ideal framework for our city, to express our commitment” and to say that through the Covenant, the city of Bobo Dioulasso will make its “contribution to this fight” against climate change.
The Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa is co-funded by the European Union, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the AECID (the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development).