Preliminary study for a research programme on Karengtenga artisanal mining site (Bam province)


Leiden University (Netherlands)


In order to prepare a grant application for a research programme, the Leiden University needed to conduct a preliminary study on the Karengtenga artisanal mining site.

The site had to be described regarding spatial and social aspects: geo-referenced delimitation, water point identification, socio-economic organisation regarding extractive and processing aspects, water use and situation of water users in the area.

Study objectives and expected results

The study main objective was to develop a system focusing on water shared management for the mining sector (industrial and artisanal), through the proposition of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) addressing the role of each stakeholder (Ministry, CMB, companies, SP-GIRE, AEN).

As a result, IFSRA had to deliver to Leiden University:

  • GIS of the Karengtenga site (.shape files)
  • Report about the mining site, including maps
  • Report about the mining sector activities (Ministry, Chamber of Mines, companies)
  • Report about the roundtable


The methodology was tested on Karengtenga artisanal mining site, Bam province, Burkina Faso.

Partner institutions and study team

This specific study is a multidisciplinary effort between a university in the Netherlands and a research institution based in Burkina Faso. The study core team consisted of the following research institutions’ teams:

  • Leiden University, Netherlands, Sabine Luning
  • IFSRA, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Dr Peter Hochet, Alizèta Ouédraogo, PhD Student, and Aziz Diallo, Master

The broader team was comprised of experts from the following institutions:

  • The Permanent Secretariat of Water Resource Integrated Management (SP-GIRE)
  • The Nakambé Water Agency (AEN)
  • The Ministry of Mines, Quarries and Energy of Burkina Faso (MMCE)
  • Mining companies
  • The Burkinabe Chamber of Mines (CMB)

Research process

In order to meet its main objective, the specific study followed three main steps:

1. Study of Karengtenga artisanal mining site

1.1 Cartography

  • Gold mining site area
  • Extraction holes
  • Underground water pumping system
  • Sites dedicated to ore processing (washing sites, chemical treatment sites)
  • Rivers and lakes

1.2 Site description

  • Land tenure statutes in the gold mining site
  • Demographic data (number of gold mining workers, origins, men/women/children)
  • Describe gold origin (alluvial deposits, gold rocks)
  • Describe the extraction and ore processing steps, in particular work organisation and techniques
  • Describe for each step the chemical products that are used
  • Describe for each step water uses, procurements methods (water wells, rivers, lakes, etc.) and waste water systems and treatments
  • Regarding habitations, describe water procurement strategies and sewage system (toilets, waste water)

2. Mining sector study

  • Activities of the companies and Ministry of Mines
  • Description of the ongoing activities of the Ministry of Mines to apply the mining code, in particular regarding gold mining
  • Description of the ongoing activities of the Chamber of Mines and mining companies regarding water shared management

3. Organisation of a round table

  • Invite SP-GIRE, AEN, CMB, the gold mining management board and companies
  • Hold the round table
  • Reach an agreement between partners and stakeholders regarding the forms of collaboration necessary to implement a pilot project on an artisanal mining site
  • Propose a MoU regarding the role of each stakeholder (Ministry, CMB, companies, SP-GIRE, AEN)