“Strengthening resilience of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bourzanga amidst security crisis and Covid-19 pandemic in Burkina Faso” is the project name and the goal of CADIS International and CADIS Association in Burkina Faso (CADIS BF).

Started in 2021, the project aims to improve psychosocial, health, and economic resilience of the IDPs and to make them able to return to their respective villages after 24 months of program implementation.

Bourzanga, the capital of Bourzanga Department, is located 157 km north of Ouagadougou and only 45 km from the town of Djibo, which is the epicenter of terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso. The security crisis forced the populations to flee and find refuge in the town of Bourzanga, which the population has increased from 45,000 inhabitants at the end of 2018 to nearly 150,000 at the beginning of 2020. Consequently, 121 health facilities (9.5%) were closed, depriving more than 1.48 million people of healthcare services.

Moreover, the coronavirus disease hit Burkina Faso in March 2020, causing a general psychosis among the population, with severe effects especially on the IDPs.

After an evaluation conducted by CADIS BF with the local leaders, some areas of intervention were identified and four outputs are programmed to be implemented in two years (2021-22): 1) health and psychosocial assistance, 2) WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), 3) food security and nutrition, 4) conflict management, and non-violent proactive measures.

The Catholic nuns of Sainte Marie de Torfou in Bourzanga, a local partner of CADIS BF, operate a healthcare facility in the area. However, at the height of the terroristic attacks, the community of nuns abandoned the facility. With the Project of CADIS, the sisters reopened the facility last April, newly renovated and replenished with medicines, supplies, and types of equipment. It was also reactivated the Center for Recovery and Nutritional Education (CREN). It has a multi-function room and a kitchen where trainings on the proper preparation of nutritious food are conducted for women. At the same time, it serves as a DIY (do it yourself) kitchen for those who are accompanying the patients.

An emergency health facility and a CADIS-BF field office have been established at the parish of Our Lady of the Annunciation under the tutelage of the parish pastor, another significant local partner of CADIS-BF. The emergency clinic serves the immediate medical needs of the IDPs settled just within the perimeter of the parish property.

Moreover, in June, a training on humanitarian security was conducted among the field staff, project's central team in security management and representatives of the Camillian-inspired associations. A total of 26 participants attended the training conducted by a specialist in humanitarian security. The aim was to strengthen humanitarian access and the capacity of teams on operational safety.

It helped the participants to understand the core principles of humanitarian security (humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence); identify threats and analyze security risks following the seven pillars of security (acceptance, identification, information, behavior, rules, communication, and protection); at the practical level, it trained the teams on how to manage incidents during travel such as vehicular accident, checkpoint, shooting, the explosion of IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and robberies.

Report information by
Sr. Monique Bonogo, FSC
Sec. Gen. CADIS BF
Fr. Marius Soussago, MI
President CDIS BF