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New Green Cross sustainable agriculture project rolling out in Senegal

“HADII Yahde” – Energy to Stay! – will strengthen the resilience of fragile communities through water and energy saving innovations, and small photovoltaic systems

A new project in the Matam region of Senegal, conceived and backed by Green Cross Italy, will bring innovative agricultural solutions to five local villages. Projects like this are at the core of Green Cross’ mission to prevent and resolve conflicts arising from environmental degradation. It provides integrated humanitarian and environmental aid to people affected by climate instability.

This initiative also responds to a pressing need for effective intervention to address the serious challenge of irregular migration in West Africa. Today, the main migration corridor runs through the coastal capital, Dakar (a major hub, from which they can take the sea route to Spain). The highest levels of migration in the area are found between Senegal (Tambacunda), Mali (Kayes) and the Gambia.

The lack of opportunities for decent livelihoods is a great injustice, and the main incentive to start this project. It comes about as a result of a terrible conjunction of economic and social disadvantages, as well as soil impoverishment and the effects of climate change (drought, desertification , etc.). To be effective, development must take all of these factors into account.

“When you ask people from northern Senegalese villages why they migrate, they say that economic pressures are the most important,” said Ndéye Fatou Diaw Guene, Division Chief and Programme Lead on Climate Change for the Ministry of Environment. “Even so, their reasons for leaving home are usually more complex and intertwined. Food security is cited by 29 per cent of respondents, and this factor is closely tied to both environmental and economic challenges.”

The project, titled “HADII Yahde” – Energy to Stay! In the local Phulaar language, will strengthen the resilience of fragile communities through the introduction of sustainable agricultural systems. These incorporate water and energy saving innovations and small photovoltaic systems to improve quality of life, promote inclusive employment and income, and reduce illegal migration in target areas.

The direct beneficiaries live in 5 local villages and total 2,106 people, of which 1,887 are women. Most are small farmers and peasants. A further 15,000 inhabitants of these villages will benefit indirectly. It addresses the primary factors identified by Green Cross Italy to promote the welfare and socioeconomic development of Senegal’s north-eastern regions, which are: ensuring access to water resources; enhancing the sustainable production capacity of territories; promoting the self-reliance and resilience of local communities; increasing the use of local labour; and reducing gender inequalities.

Green Cross continues in this way to respond to one of its foundational commitments: to develop on-the-ground projects, which provide models that can be replicated to improve the lives of humans and their relationship with the environment.

The project will be completed over a nine-month period and will cost about USD 560,000, of which USD 140,000 will be provided by Green Cross Italy directly. Further finance is coming from AICS (the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), ENEA (Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Senegal’s Organization for the Development Value of the Senegal River (OMVS), the Fouta Association Federation for Development (FAFD), ARD (Regional Development Agency), and the USAID / Yajeende programme.

Communications Coordinator
Geographical coverage: 

01. no poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

02. zero hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

05. gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

06. clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

07. affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

08. decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

10. reduced inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

11. sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

12. sustainable consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

13. climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts