Cowater International, IAMGOLD and One Drop announce new partnership to scale up water and sanitation programming in Burkina Faso News

21 February, 2017

Cowater International, IAMGOLD and One Drop are pleased to announce a new partnership to expand programming on the Water and Sustainable Economic Growth in the Sahel Region Project in Burkina Faso (ECED-Sahel). Through this partnership, the Project, which began in 2015 with funding from Global Affairs Canada and IAMGOLD, will see the project expand activities as a result of additional contributions and input from One Drop and IAMGOLD.


This project, which is the first phase of a larger endeavour, aims to provide access to safe water to approximately 60,000 beneficiaries in the commune of Dori and provide sanitation infrastructure to approximately 40,000 beneficiaries in the communes of Falagountou and Gorom-Gorom. The One Drop contribution will integrate One Drop’s innovative approach using theatre to engage citizens and promote behavior changes that will ensure the sustainability of the infrastructure. One Drop has been developing theatre-based social art interventions in Burkina Faso for the last five years; this project is an opportunity to leverage and scale up social art tools that have already been created. This first phase aims to lay the groundwork for a second larger initiative which will provide safe water to a much greater area reaching more than 250 000 people.


“This expanded partnership and contribution provides a wonderful opportunity to leverage the expertise of some of Canada’s leading organizations for the benefit of the people of Burkina Faso,” says David Baron, CEO of Cowater International.


Said Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, “No one should be without access to safe water. When we join forces we can accomplish even more to help people in the communities in which we operate meet such a basic need. Education plays a vital role in helping people manage this scarce resource, and One Drop’s participation brings this to a whole new level.”


The project will not only contribute to the improvement of access to safe water, but also to economic development, by supporting the creation of income generating activities around agriculture and livestock, especially for women. The activities will be designed to create greate equality between women and men, improve local governance and raise awareness for the environmental vulnerability these communities face by living in a desert area. Local women groups and associations will be directly empowered to develop their livestock and smallholder agriculture projects. Social art will also be used to trigger sustainable behavior change and facilitate important discussions on gender roles for water, sanitation and hygiene services. “The Sahel is one of the most arid and vulnerable communities for safe water access issues and a priority for the Burkina Faso government in an effort to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. One Drop is committed to supporting the government in improving the situation in this region and we are very pleased to be partnering with organisations such as IAMGOLD and Cowater who share our commitment to the communities in the region,” says Marie-Claude Bourgie, Director of Development, One Drop.


The Water and Sustainable Economic Growth in the Sahel Region Project includes initial funding of $12M from Global Affairs Canada and $2M from IAMGOLD. This new partnership will see the project scale up to $17.4M through new funding support from One Drop ($2,375,000) and IAMGOLD ($375,000).


About Cowater
With over 400 projects implemented in more than 65 countries, Cowater is Canada’s leading firm in international development project management. Cowater’s primary focus is on improving the public, social, economic, and infrastructure challenges of emerging countries. After more than 31 years in operation, Cowater has established itself as a world leader in water supply and sanitation, state modernization, economic growth, and gender equality. For more information, visit


About One Drop
One Drop leverages what they have learned from Cirque du Soleil about the power of the troupe, to create a collective impact on the global water crisis through partnerships. One Drop has developed an innovative approach using social art tools to mobilize, raise awareness and drive behavior changes around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as One Drop truly believes that proper behavior is at the heart of sustainable WASH infrastructures. One Drop has been developing interventions in Latin America, West Africa and India since 2007, reaching close to 1,000,000 individuals. For more information, visit


IAMGOLD ( is a mid-tier mining company with four operating gold mines on three continents. A solid base of strategic assets in North and South America and West Africa is complemented by development and exploration projects and continued assessment of accretive acquisition opportunities. IAMGOLD is in a strong financial position with extensive management and operation expertise.





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