The power of local foods in Burkina Faso

A woman prepares 'gapal', a snack made from millet, sugar and milk in Dori, Bukina Faso
A woman prepares 'gapal', a snack made from millet, sugar and milk in Dori, Bukina Faso (Nancy Palus/IRIN)

In remote villages of northeastern Burkina Faso families are using and selling vegetables and dairy products well past gardening and milk-production seasons thanks to some simple methods being promoted by NGO Eau Vive.

The techniques allow people to preserve for longer, and do more with, the food they have. Eau Vive’s European Union-backed project, which is being reviewed at a forum 27-29 July in Dori in Burkina’s Sahel region, also includes training women to monitor children’s nutritional status and teaching health and hygiene to fellow villagers.

 View the Slideshow

For Juste Hermann Nansi, the head of Eau Vive in Burkina Faso, education and proper use of local foods, along with improved roads and access to water and sanitation, constitute the only path out of recurrent nutrition crises. “The repeated emergency responses from outside, every time a community faces a difficult year, undermine rural communities’ local strategies and capacity.”

This IRIN slideshow looks at how people are using available foods to improve health and livelihoods.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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