Burkina Faso, a rather arid country in western Africa, began to build water reservoirs 150 years ago. Today there are about 1500 of these reservoirs ranging in size from small to very large ponds. Dr. Raymond Ouedraogo knows a lot of them. Since the 1980s he has been a multi-faceted expert in fisheries, aquaculture and water management. After graduating from the Higher Institute for Fisheries Sciences and Techniques, he began his career in the Ministry of Environment and Fish Resources in Burkina Faso. He remained there until 2013, but during this time he also acquired 2 Masters Degrees in the UK and Belgium and subsequently a doctoral degree at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna. He has remained in touch with BOKU beyond his doctorate, and today he is the regional coordinator of the SUSFISH-plus project. This project is a collaboration between BOKU and, among others, the National Center for Scientific and Technological Research in Burkina Faso, where Raymond currently pursues his research. Already in the project preceding this one – SUSFISH – he was an important member of the team.
In this podcast, Raymond Ouedraogo talks about land and water in Burkina Faso, the different uses of water reservoirs, and how he works in the middle of politics and science to develop the maximum benefits of research for the people and the land.