19 July 2021
Back to Senegal with SOPREEF

From 16th to 30th June 2021, Kinomé’s team went to the department of Foundiougne in Senegal to meet our historical partner, the socially responsible company SOPREEF 

 

Established for more than 15 years in the city of Sokone, gateway to the Sine-Saloum, the Sopreef and Kinomé have been working together for ten years on the EESF program (Water, Energy, Solidarity, Foundiougne), thanks also to the financial support of the company Reforest’Action. 

 

The department of Foundiougne is located in the groundnut basin, a country’s area that concentrates half of the population. However, from an agricultural point of view, the long-established and intensive production of peanuts has degraded the region’s soils and led to a specialization of the rural economy (and thus to farmers’ dependence on peanuts). Thus, the region’s production is no longer able to solve the financial problems of farmers.

 

In this context, the objective of the EESF project is to contribute to the development of rural populations and promote access to energy and quality water in the area of Sokone, a Foundiougne commune (southern area of the Fatick region). Consequently, to reach this objective, levers employed: tree planting, agroforestry products’ development, and sustainable economic value based on quality vegetable oils. The program also sensitizes young people to the issues related to the planting and integration of trees in the landscape through workshops and planting within schools.

 

Picture 1: Abdou Salam Mbodi, beneficiary of the EESF project in his land where he recently integrated trees with the EESF program

 

In 10 years, more than 220,000 trees have been sponsored by Reforest’Action and planted in the department. These plantations have significantly improved the living conditions of local populations and the forest ecosystem’s health in the area.

 

However, on the scale of the Fatick region, the firewood consumption, the primary source of energy for populations, the installation of sawmills in the area several decades ago, as well as the evolution of environmentally damaging agricultural practices (burn farming, deep plowing, etc.) have seriously degraded soils in certain areas. This is the case in the Djikoye Valley, located in the extreme south of the region, on the border with Gambia. The problem of soil degradation threatens agricultural, pastoral, and forestry activities, which are essential to the populations of the area. Today it has become almost impossible to cultivate without a significant use of fertilizers and chemicals.

 

Picture 2: Gully area in the Keur Gadi village 

 

Remarking the progressive degradation of the valley, Kinomé and Sopreef wanted to develop their partnership and study means to fight against this erosion and then fight against the rural exodus and bring back a future to the area’s populations. This mission was the opportunity for us to conduct a feasibility study together in the area. These visits allowed us to carry out a diagnosis of soils health, to meet the valley’s populations, exchange with them on their daily life and their vision of their territory, and then identify practices adapted to this soil restoration.

 

Picture 3: Exchange with the people of Keur Seni Gueye on the agricultural situation and future prospects

 

In the end, this mission allowed us to outline a restoration and land management project that remains to be defined and implemented. It became clear that the Djikoye valley restoration challenge must include a comprehensive approach and complementary practices: fertility restoration through soil improvement via compost, integration of fertilizer trees, and other sustainable practices; the implementation of anti-erosion facilities such as dikes, stone barriers, etc.; but also the population sensitization on these issues as well as the creation of economic value to reinvigorate the valley and allow farmers to live off their work. A project that could start in the year 2021, to be continued…!