The Senegal PICOGERNA
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CTA. 1994. The Senegal PICOGERNA. Spore 53. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49470
The Integrated Protect for the Conservation and Management of Natural Resources (PICOGERNA) was started in Senegal in 1990 but had to be terminated in 1993 following the Khelkom affair (the classified forest given to the Mourides General Caliph for...
The Integrated Protect for the Conservation and Management of Natural Resources (PICOGERNA) was started in Senegal in 1990 but had to be terminated in 1993 following the Khelkom affair (the classified forest given to the Mourides General Caliph for growing groundouts). In spite of the project being terminated early and the work being stopped, much was learnt from this land management project. As one of the farmers who saw the best part of the project said, 'the most important thing is that we have now learnt that we can do something ourselves to solve our problems'. Ndiao is a small, straggling village near Kaffrine. In the past the old men dug wells in the village at me edge of the low-lying at the point reached by the brackish water from the highest tides. The women planted rice around the large lakes that formed when the wafer was low. Some fields were cleared and cultivated by hand by the men so that the crops could be sown. By using draught animals we have been able to reclaim more and more land above the villages', the Louba villagers explained. 'Twenty years ago we only had small fields'. The use of draught animals and the development of groundnuts has enabled hundreds of hectares of hilly land, which had been cleared of trees and bushes, to be used for growing groundnuts. But there is nothing to prevent erosion occurring after groundnuts and millet have been harvested. 'The gullies which first cut the village in two now began to form about ten years ago, me old men said. 'Every year flooding carries some huts away' A barrier One of the jobs technical assistants on the project had was the building of stone barriers to counter erosion. There was generally no need for any official encouragament. Everybody wanted it done and no trouble was spared. Diedhiou, a supervisor, recalled: 'To see they were ready willing, I asked them to collect stones. Everyone got down to it, the women with containers on their heads, men with their handcarts.' Farmers learned to mark out levels easily and efficiently by using a plumb line made from three pieces of wood nailed to form a 'A' with the line suspended from apex. The stones were placed along the contour lines. It is difficult to understand how these barriers, which arebarely visible,could effective. The rain water stops at the barriers at the edge of the fields, the water swrils around a little before it tricides gently away. Earth accumulates on top of the barriers and the water is absorbed by the ground. Farmers can then plant hedges on the barriers. The men learn to make wire nets for the stone containers and gabions used in the field gullies by weaving wire round in a board. The land around a village can be protected in this way in a few month. Since the first rainy season, the results have astonished everyone; not a single hut has been swept away.