Tindano Pabadou leads a women͛s growing co-operative in the village of Bassieri, in the far east of Burkina Faso. The women here speak their minds and make decisions about how to share the harvest and spend the money it brings. Tindano has even paid for a new house for her family with the proceeds from her share of the co-operative. This good fortune has been hard fought, however. Seven years ago, Tindano and the other women of her village were forced to skip meals due to a lack of food.
In Burkina Faso short-sighted farming practices and drought had depleted soil fertility and degraded natural resources to the point that its population faced malnutrition. In villages like Bassieri, new agroecological techniques such as͚half moons͛ or ͚zai pits͛ (where manure is placed in small holes to absorb rain) have begun to revitalise the soil and enable the crops to hold onto the water, when it comes. Now, despite the increasing droughts, there is enough food to eat as well as surplus to sell at the markets.
Photos: Andrew Esiebo