Burkina Faso (country of the righteous people), previously known as the Republic of Upper Volta, borders Ghana, Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast. It covers an area of 274,200 square kilometers, roughly a quarter of the size of the province of Ontario, and has a population of 17,275,115 (2012). The climate is tropical: warm and humid in the summer while dry in the winter. The country goes through periods of extreme drought which greatly affect the harvests and the population distribution. Burkina Faso is divided into 13 administrative regions, which are subdivided into 45 provinces. The SEMAFO mining site is situated in the Boucle du Mouhoun region.
Boucle du Mouhoun region
The capital of the Boucle du Mouhoun region is Dédougou . The region has a population of 1,353,607 (2002) and covers a total area of 34,153 square kilometers. The Mana mining site spans the Mouhoun and Balé provinces.
According to an analysis by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Boucle du Mouhoun region is the poorest district in Burkina Faso (2005). This region is the country’s main cotton producer with 87% of the inhabitants living in the rural areas and agriculture serving as their principal source of income.
The average dwelling houses 7.8 people which ranks as the highest in the country. And although this region receives the most rain in the country, 46,7 % (2012) of the population does not have access to clean drinking water. The literacy in the area is another point of concern, with a rate of 15.6%, below the national rate of 21.8%.
Here are a few other social indicators that demonstrate the precariousness of the Boucle du Mouhoun region:
- 64.5% of families live in mud housing (2005)
- 31.9% of families must travel more than 60 minutes in order to get to the nearest health center (2005)
- 56.5% of agricultural equipment used by farmers is archaic or inefficient (2005)
- 80.8% of the population is uneducated (2005)
- 3.8% of the population has access to electricity (2009)
- 56 % of families are under poverty line (2009)
The Mouhoun province
The Mouhoun province has a population of 235,291 and it covers an area of 6,668 square kilometers. Within this province, the SEMAFO Foundation provides assistance to the towns and villages situated around the mining site in the Kona, Safané and Tchériba departments.
The Balé province
The Balé province has a population of 213,897 (2006), an area of 4,595 square kilometers and its capital is the town of Boromo. Within this province we offer aid to the departments of Bagassi, Bana and Yaho.