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Launch day

This week we held the launch day of the project that we carried out with the help of Setem Andalucía and with financing from the Provincial Council of Granada. A twelve-month project to reinforce food security in the municipality of Kafountine through the implementation and support of agricultural perimeters for more than 200 women.

Senegal's barn in the doldrums

The project takes place in three neighborhoods in the town of Diannah, where families of Diola and Mandinka ethnic groups live together. Diannah belongs to the municipality of Kafountine, located on the coast of the natural region of Casamance, known as the breadbasket of Senegal. Agriculture, along with fishing and tourism, is the main means of life for the inhabitants of the area. Even so, there is little variety in the products and times of scarcity of some of them, which is why buses loaded with products from the north frequently arrive.

“As a resident of the area and knowing the richness of the land of Casamance, my heart breaks when I see imported products arriving from the north of the country,” explains Bacary Sagna, Secretary General of the NGO Kakolum in Senegal and specialist in Sustainable Agriculture, to those attending the launch day. “We have everything we need to feed our families and be independent and we don't take advantage of it.”

According to Bacary, there is a lack of interest on the part of the population towards agriculture due to the repeated use of chemicals that kill the fertility of the land, lack of knowledge of appropriate agricultural techniques (planting period, soil nutrition or irrigation needs, among others). and the lack of variety in crops that creates an excess supply of the same product and, consequently, a loss of its value.

What will Kakolum and Setem Andalucía do about this?

The project consists, first of all, of creating a growing space for more than 100 mothers of students at Diannah Secondary School . The Director of the school and main promoter of the idea, Souleymane Wade, has given one and a half hectares of the school's land to create a community garden for mothers. The perimeter fencing has already been completed, and the construction of a water point and the installation of a solar pumping and channeling system will continue to ensure water resources throughout the space. The mothers of the students will have a growing space with everything they need, and in exchange they will contribute a small part of the harvest to reinforce the school's funds. These funds will be used to purchase materials, improve facilities and cover schooling expenses for adolescents from the most vulnerable families.

On the other hand, the facilities of the community garden in the Djindem neighborhood will be improved , a peripheral neighborhood located between forest and mangrove with very low access to services. All the women of the neighborhood and their families work there, facing major problems of access to water for irrigation and without adequate agricultural materials. A well will be fixed and built in one of the holes from which water is currently extracted; a traditional “well” that entails great risks when extracting water, ponds will be built throughout the entire land and a solar system will be installed to channel the water. In addition, agricultural materials will be delivered to facilitate the work of women.

Finally, these two gardens, together with the community garden for women in the Kabar neighborhood, created by the NGO Kakolum in 2018, will receive training in sustainable agricultural techniques and regular support for seven months by the entity's permaculture specialists. Women will be shown how to prepare the land, how to nourish it, how to prepare low-cost natural compost and pesticides, and how to diversify crops to improve their families' nutrition and market output.

Let's continue!



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