Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Fuso suffers from severe shortage of safe
drinking water, especially in the dry season. The bulk of the water consumed by
the residents of the city is from surface water sources that are treated and supplied
by the National Water and Sanitation Company (ONEA). ONEA extracts the water from
a three hill dam system in Ouagadougou city known as Ouaga 1 2 and 3. Underground
water is not only difficult to extract but subject to seasonal fluctuations of
the water table.
The dams collect rainwater through open channels located round the city, where
the poorest inhabitants live, particularly in the vicinity of the dam. With
inadequate sanitation systems the inhabitants dispose of their waste water and
garbage in the drains and open channels. Thus rain water collected ends up in
reservoir behind the dam. It is usually polluted with the waste accumulated
in the channels during the dry spells. Over the years, the hill dam reservoirs
have been gradually filled with mud and sediment.