Inspired by the experience of a river contract in Wallonia (Belgium) since 1990, the implementation of a first river contract has been initiated in a West African country, Burkina Faso. This application is not limited to a simple transposition of the Walloon model. The Burkina context calls for adaptation to the local environmental and socio-economical realities with an adequate partnership management. The importance of the mobilization around this project of institutional partners, as well as local collectivities, agricultural producers and water users in general reveals the great expectations of the actors concerning this new tool of water participative management. But will the latter be equal to the task? A first assessment has been drawn up one year after the launch. During the first year of the project, a participative diagnostic was implemented but the understanding of basic notions of water management such as 'river' (not translatable in the local language), 'watershed', 'contract' were not obvious. After the identification of functions and uses of water in the basin, an environmental survey was started. This approach allows study with the river committees of the priority actions to be developed as a first project of restoration of the gallery forest alongside the stream to fight against desertification. This project of integrated and participative management of water at sub-basin level is a concrete example of solidarity and exchange know-how between North and South in the context of a sustainable development.