OUAGADOUGOU, April 17, 2012 – Burkina Faso’s economy loses 86 billion CFA francs each year (US$171 million, 2 percent of GDP) each year due to poor sanitation, according to a report today released by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).
The desk study, Economic Impacts of Poor Sanitation in Africa - Burkina Faso, found that the majority (80 percent) of these costs come from the annual premature death of 18,900 Burkinabés from diarrheal disease, including 15,400 children under the age of 5, nearly 90 percent of which is directly attributable to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Health-related costs accounted for nearly 5 percent of the total economic costs, while access time and productivity losses accounted for about 16 percent.
“We’ve known for some time about the impact of poor sanitation on health, but this is one of the first studies quantify the annual costs incurred because of poor sanitation,” said Yolande Coombes, senior water and sanitation specialist with WSP. “Burkina Faso will not be able to grow sustainably without addressing these costs.”
The study also found that 4 million Burkinabés use unsanitary or shared latrines, 10 million have no latrine at all and defecate in the open, and that the poorest quintile is 80 times more likely to practice open defection than the richest.