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Burkina Faso

An extremely dry country in the Sahel zone

date of entry 28/01/1991
mileage 64,253

capital Ouagadougou

area 274.200 km²

population 16.751.455

official language France

The Sahel is one of Africa’s poorest and most famine-prone regions. Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta, lies in this arid and at certain times also extremely dusty region. When the dry desert winds blow from the Sahara in the "Harmattan" period, breathing becomes agony: Mucous membranes dry out quickly, and dust is everywhere. Outside the small number of largish towns the people still lived at the time of Otto’s visit in very traditional villages of round huts.
  • The women in the villages wore artistically twisted pigtails.
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  • Burkina Faso lies in the Sahel region and is a very dusty country, particularly during the Harmattan season. The name of the capital, Ouagadougou, is not very easy to pronounce.
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  • The poor roads damaged the front-wheel bearings – not a big problem and one which Gunther had dealt with in the past. Children watched the repair work.
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  • Many villages in the very poor country still consist of traditional round huts made of clay.
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  • Grain was stored in such containers to ensure protection against rodents. You find such containers in many parts of West Africa and in the Sahel region.
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  • Video: Burkina Faso – land of livestock breeding and wells, where hand cream is a must