Political situation in Burkina / end of the Ramadan

blog 2015 07 19 1The group of wise men have come out with recommendations to ease the tension between the prime minister and the army: the president takes over the direction of the army and the police is also taken away from the responsibility of the prime minister.

CEDEAO (West Africa states organization) has declared that the exclusion of the political party of the ex-president was non constitutional??? Most people in this organization are or friend of the ex-president or are facing the same problem as him (number of mandates a president can have).

People had to wait until 10 PM on Thursday night to know if the end of the Ramadan was on this particular night or may be the next day. Muslim leaders have to see the moon!!!! Everybody knows when the moon will be coming but Muslim leaders want to show that they have some power by declaring when the Ramadan starts and when it ends. Crazy.

Late rainy season = difficulties for the farmers

The rainy season normally starts around mid-June and lasts until the end of September. This year the rains only came in the second week of July. Many fields have not yet been worked.

For the farmers this is not a good situation. They can still seed their fields, but will the rains last long enough for the type of crops they are normally growing?

A solution is to use crops with a shorter maturating time, but access to seeds of such crops is not easy. First you need to know it exists, then you have to have cash to buy them.

Most farmers are using oxen for the ploughing of the fields. One hectare will take around 3 days’ work to be prepared. The seeding is done by hand by the whole family. One hectare will take between 4 to 5 days to seed for a family of 6 people.

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blog 2015 07 19 3With oxen and with a family of 6 a farmer will be able to work between 5 and 8 hectares maximum.

The rain comes sometimes with very strong winds. This was the case last Wednesday.

The traveler’s tree in our front yard had one of its leaves bent by the wind.


Follow up on the beekeeping project (training)

Last week I showed some pictures of the delivery of the hives to farmers. This week Macaire (from the LAP) our specialist for beekeeping was giving training in situ.

We went to participate on the second day of training in the village of Oualana.

The 4 farmers, Sanne, Sophia, Odile and Macaire during the training session.

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blog 2015 07 19 6The bees will be producing the honey and wax along the wooden bars. In order to help them at the beginning, 2 of the bars are equipped with some carton board which is fixed on the bar with wax.


After the location of the hives is found, a hole is dug nearby and a fire set up with wood and cow manure. When the fire has taken, leaves from nearby bushes are put on top of the fire, the hives is then put over the hole. It fumigates the hives and gives attracting smell for the bees.

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blog 2015 07 19 8The hive is then set up in a tree where it will wait for a swarm of the bees to come.

After that it will stay 3 weeks in the tree.

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It will then be placed on a metal support at his final location.

Proverb of the week

Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far. ~ Swahili proverb
La patience attire le bonheur; elle rapproche ce qui se trouve loin. ~ Proverbe swahili

If you are ugly you must either learn to dance or make love. ~ Zimbabwean Proverb
Si vous êtes laid, vous devez soit apprendre à danser ou faire l’amour. ~ Proverbe Zimbabwéen

Looking at the weather in Europe, it is warmer there than here in Burkina. Hope you are on vacation.

Amitiés,
Hervé