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Trente ans de lutte contre l’onchocercose en Afrique de l’Ouest. Traitements larvicides et protection de l’environnement

Laurent Yaméogo
Christian Levêque
Jean-Marc Hougard

Environmental Impact Assessment of Settlement and Development in the Upper Léraba Basin


Jean-Louis Sarbib

Texte intégral

1This volume presents the results of an environmental impact assessment of land settlement in one river valley on the Burkina Faso-Côte d’Ivoire border. The methodology used for the assessment is quite simple and inexpensive and grew out of the environmental monitoring conducted by the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP).

2OCP is one of the most successful health projects in Africa. The program was launched by seven West African countries and nine donors, including the World Bank, and has expanded to include eleven countries and twenty-three donors. Thirty million people are now protected from the disease and 25 million hectares of arable land have been made available for settlement.

3What has been less widely publicized than the health benefits of the Programme is the fact that, although the OCP strategy relies on the repeated application of Chemical insecticides and biological control agents to the aquatic breeding sites of the blackfly vectors, there have been no significant disturbances of the aquatic environment throughout the Programme area. The environmental soundness of the OCP strategy has been demonstrated by an extensive environmental monitoring System supervised by an independent group of environmental experts. However, despite the care taken to prevent damage to the OCP rivers, there have recently been indications that other factors might be having a negative impact. To investigate this possibility the Committee of Sponsoring Agencies (CSA: comprised of FAO, UNDP, WHO, the World Bank), the statutory body that oversees OCP, undertook to organize this assessment, with funding from the Government of the Netherlands.

4The findings of the assessment are important in that they indicate that the rapid settlement occurring in many of the areas where riverblindness has been controlled may have negative consequences for the aquatic environment even when there is very little use of Chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There is a need, therefore, for proactive policies by the concerned governments to ensure that when settlement occurs it does so in a manner that will not harm the environment.


Director Western Africa Department

© IRD Éditions, 2003

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