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Senegal: determination to continue with our projects despite a difficult time

ASeS’ work in Senegal continued, despite many difficulties, even during the pandemic period with the projects, SB-AGROIN, “Agricultural Laboratories for a New Economy: Income, Inclusion and Rights,” and with the Keur Yakham School

The SB-AGROIN project, which started in November 2019 and is scheduled to end in March 2023, involves the Thiès Region and the municipalities of Keur Moussa and Put. It is a project financed 90 percent by the Italian Development Cooperation Agency and the remaining 10 percent by several Italian partners for a total sum of €1,778,080.14.The objective of the project, coordinated by our Giovanna Cantice, ‘ is to increase the food security and income of small farmers and their families. Objective that is divided into two specific objectives: the ‘increase of agricultural production of small producers and the increase of processed agricultural products sold on the market

The project had an initial phase of preparatory activities such as

  • Outreach meetings with local authorities and area associations,
  • The identification of international players to create synergies,
  • the selection of personnel,
  • The organization of the coordinating office,
  • Meetings with various local and international partners to plan activities and budget for the first year
  • the development of Partnership Agreements.
  • The preparation of the summary and translation of the AICS Management Procedures and Reporting Manual (main funder of the project)
  • The creation of the Technical and Scientific Committee

This was followed by the selection phase of the project beneficiaries with the training of animators, field meetings (which started in July and will go on until the end of September), and the preparation of the Engagement Conventions with the project beneficiaries, namely the community camp groups and the Network of Women Producers and Processors of the Keur Moussa Municipality.

The first practical activities involve the installation of innovative irrigation systems in 6 villages, for which a water engineer/agronomist and a hydrogeology expert are selected to do a hydrogeological study of the land for irrigation network design and plot sizing.

The project “Agricultural Laboratories for a New Economy: Income, Inclusion and Rights” is funded by the Rotary Club of Livorno and ASeS fund raising activities. The project consists of giving logistical support for the identification of the construction company and monitoring the construction work of a workshop ( a production room and a bathroom) for animation and mediation activities for the promotion of the Network of Women Producers and Processors.

The main activities of the project are:

  • Relations with institutions
  • Women’s support to obtain land for laboratory construction
  • Relationships with local Rotary
  • Coordination

The Keur Yakham School Project is a project in which ASeS is a promoter and donor and in which Jef, our local partner, played the role of animation, mediation, support for logistics, identification of suppliers and monitoring of the work.

Keur Yakham School was established in 1999 on a one-hectare plot of land duly granted in March 2001 and consists of 6 classrooms.

The various stages of 1-class construction are:

  • Meetings with the target community;
  • Needs analysis;
  • Priority identification;
  • Sharing the choice of the first goal to be achieved
  • Selection of the contractor for the work;
  • Monitoring and control of the work;
  • Relations with authorities, school staff, pupils’ parents’ association and all stakeholders involved in the participatory process;

Today, all activities are carried out strictly following what are the ministerial guidelines put in place to limit any possible transmission of the coronavirus. During the two information and sharing meetings on the SB-AGROIN project held in Touly, a village in Keur municipality that is part of the project’s six intervention villages, the anti Covid provisions were thus strictly implemented. Touly represents an important point of reference for our activity since a very dynamic ′′ Villageois ′ Development Committee ′ (CVD) composed of all the active and productive forces in the village was born here; in fact, the Touly Community Camp was deliberated in the name of the CVD. During the meetings with the people, the technical and implementing partners of the SB-AGROIN project gave a thorough and thoughtful explanation of the objectives, challenges, opportunities and ways to implement the interventions. The interest of the people was so high that questions were asked and clarifications were sought regarding the management of the project, the types of training proposed and the system of cutting the community field into plots. At the end of the meetings, the parties expressed their commitment, each one for his or her area of expertise, as well as their willingness to participate in the project by following the technical recommendations of the relevant experts.

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