Tutorials / Guided use cases

Development of an extensive irrigation system downstream the Bagré Dam in Burkina Faso 


The story concerns an extensive irrigation system downstream the Bagré Dam, in Burkina Faso. The Bagré dam was inaugurated in 1994 and the irrigation scheme of the dam lies approximately 150 km south east of Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou within the department of Bagré in Boulgou province.

Developing hydropower and large-scale irrigated agriculture were the two main objectives in constructing the Bagré dam. The dam's irrigation objective aims to address food security for the local and national population. Traditional cereal farming on rain-fed land is the main source of livelihood in the region, along with the raising of livestock, including pastoralism. Improving and increasing the production of rice is a key component of the government's national development policies.

A presentation is available on the FAO Hand-in-Hand / Earth Map collaboration.


Burkina Faso, West Africa 


Surface Water, Irrigation Systems


The vegetation, water and demographic data compiled in Earth Map can show the direct consequences of the construction of a dam and the expansion of irrigation systems, such as the production of improved rice seed  in the Bagré area which  is helping local rice-producing smallholders in Bagré become self-sufficient in rice production as well as providing  new employment opportunities.

Figure 1: Screenshot of the Imagery Compare Tool, with zoom into the Bagré Dam. Sentinel 2 cloud free mosaic images are represented in December 2019 . In the image, water (purple colour), savanna (yellow/green colour) and agricultural plantations (orange colour) can be identified based on satellite image colours.

Figure 2: Vegetation intensity with zoom-in to the irrigation system, images in 1984, 1998, 2002 and 2018 (based on Landsat - Greenest Pixel Yearly 1984-2018).

Figure 3: New permanent and new seasonal flooded areas between 1984-2018 (based on the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Global Surface Water Explorer

Figure 4: Population data (drawn from GHSL: Global Human Settlement Layers, Population Grid 1975-1990-2000-2015).