At first contact, one wonders how one approaches water or the present. For the Musée de l'Eau, the answer is simple: water is presented in all its facets with its myths, tales, legends, words, history, geography, its links with people and objects, its challenges and palaver. "Water is an integral part of people's lives, because it is inherent in their cultural diversity, their civilizations, their ways of life and their visions of development. The valorization of water resources in African countries and in the rest of the world is only a translation of religious, cultural, economic, ecological, historical, socio-ethnological, cosmogonic, psychological and political feelings," acknowledges Alassane Samoura, promoter of the Musée de l'Eau.
Born from the will of people who have worked in the field of water, hygiene and sanitation, this museum wants to promote a sector as vital as water, in line with the popular saying "Water is life". According to Alassane Samoura, the idea for the museum came from an observation: the cultural void around water. "I am a sociologist by training. I have worked in the water sector for nearly 25 years. I was Social Intermediation Project Manager in the organization where I worked. Based on these experiences, I thought it was good to create a space that would talk about water in a more holistic way. It's talking about water in culture, in anthropology, in sociology, in cosmogony. It's been ten years since we created the Water Museum," he says.
In Loumbila, about 25 km from Ouagadougou, on the National 3, where it has its headquarters, the Water Museum carries out many activities. These are also relocated throughout Burkina Faso. This museum presents the symbolism of water, i.e. the values assigned to water are exhibited. These symbolics help to explain important issues and present a pedagogical content for awareness-raising, education and sensitization on the importance of water. For Alassane Samoura, there are more than 500 of them. Among these symbols are fertility, forgiveness, regeneration, fidelity, conflict, solidarity, life, strength, power, purification, blessing, power, etc.
The Water Museum likes to explain these symbols to give another consideration to water. The water matrix symbol is a symbol used, for example, to establish the link between water and the mother by playing particularly on the notions of life or death. According to Alassane Samoura, "Water as a matrix symbol refers to the mother. We can symbolize this by the 9 months during which we bathe in the amniotic fluid. That's why the relationship between water and the mother is a very important one. We find this in many civilizations. As much as we must respect the water, we must also respect the woman. This means that when a person insults a woman and drinks water right afterwards, they have insulted themselves. It can also refer to the Alpha Omega symbolism because it is water that begins everything and ends everything. »
"Water runs through the life of the African".
The importance of water for the African is also found, according to the Water Museum, in the fact that we welcome the foreigner by offering him the water of welcome. This is related to the symbolism of welcome.