Disturbing news is reaching us from the capital of Burkina Faso. A few days ago we lost contact with Gosia Tomaszewska. Yesterday, we managed to speak on the phone for a while. As a result of growing protests by citizens against the presence of French troops in Burkina Faso, the authorities have cut off internet access throughout the country.
“They’ve turned off everyone’s internet, so it’s been chaos. We are waiting to see what will happen next. I hope everything will get back to normal,” says Gosia Tomaszewska, who is responsible for our projects in Togo and Burkina Faso and lives in Ouagadougou.
Burkina Faso’s economic situation is in a woeful state and is driving the world’s fastest growing food crisis. Increasing terrorist attacks in the north of the country and this year’s drought, which has devastated agriculture, have meant that 3.2 million people now require urgent food aid. More than 7.4 million people in the Sahel region have already left their homes as a result of the crop failure.
The current protests against the stationing of French troops in the country centre on the belief that Western support, although intended to help in the fight against terrorism, is drawing in further attacks. The people of Burkina Faso are also demanding an explanation of what is contained in the growing number of French military convoys whose route takes them from the port of Ivory Coast through their country to Niger. It is precisely the areas on the border between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso that have been overrun by jihadists. The people of Burkina Faso are demanding an explanation and making heavy accusations that the West is arming the attackers instead of solving the problem. A few days ago, protesters stopped one of the northbound convoys on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, demanding that the containers they were carrying be opened.
“We are waiting to see what happens next. It is not ruled out that there may even be an attempt to overthrow the government in the coming days.” says Gosia Tomaszewska.
However, as the food crisis continues, we know that we need to scale up our farming operations even further. Thanks to the wonderful donors who have put their trust in us, recognizing the difficult situation in the country, in a few weeks we will start the construction of another borehole. This will allow us to irrigate yet another part of the garden.
You can help too! The simple mechanism of kick-starting local agriculture, which the Good Factory has brought to life in Gourcy, means that people don’t have to flee their homes in search of work and sustenance, and by producing food they can make an impact themselves to improve the situation of those most affected by the crisis. They still just need the tools.
Donate gardening tools to those in our care!