2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Supporting Burkina Faso Water & Forestry Services To Fight the Illicit Proliferation of Weapons

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Date: 2018 Description: Lieutenant-Colonel Isabelle Ouedraogo (center) is the Director of Logistics for the Burkina Faso Water & Forestry Services. © Photo courtesy of MAGLieutenant-Colonel Isabelle Ouedraogo is the Director of Logistics for the Burkina Faso Water & Forestry Services. Supervising the national weapons and ammunition stockpiles for Water & Forestry Services, Lieutenant-Colonel Ouedraogo and her personnel have witnessed the devastating effects of the illicit proliferation of weapons on communities and on the environment.

Water & Forestry Services are a well-respected force in Burkina Faso with personnel posted across the country to fight poaching and banditry, especially in rural areas. In recent years, they have faced theft from their weapons and ammunition stockpiles, which are vulnerable due to infrastructure challenges and their remote presence where security is limited.

In 2016, MAG (Mines Advisory Group) conducted a technical assessment of their PSSM needs. With PM/WRA funding, MAG was able to equip them with a containerized armory to safely store weapons and ammunition. The Water & Forestry Services personnel responsible for armories have also received MAG training in weapons storekeeping and management. Lieutenant-Colonel Ouedraogo commented on the course, “After receiving the training we revised and improved our registry management procedures. We made a note to the Director General and requested that the store’s access be limited to a few people.”