Last month, our sponsors from Httpool/Aleph joined us on a project evaluation mission to Senegal. We assessed quality and success of ploughing, seed sowing and fencing in our plots in Loumboul Djiby and Ngaydoum (Labgar community) as well as in Diéry and Wendou Delby (Syer Community).
(Credtis pictures and video: Daan Degroote)
On 27 September, we visited the village of Bowde Doudal Bisnabe, one of our partners in the 2023 reforestation initiative of Diéry, just 2 km north of the village in the Syer community. The village consists of 39 family clusters, each comprising a number of families with a total population of around 400. The villagers were happy to show us around and tell us about their daily lives.
Unlike many other villages in the Senegalese Sahel, the majority of children attends primary school, thanks to the vicinity of the school in Mbar Toubab, just 5 km north of the village. Both men and women rely on livestock herding for their livelihoods which they sell on local markets or exchange for cereals and vegetables. Each family cluster has its own outdoor kitchen in which food is prepared by women and shared among all families within the cluster. The menu mostly consists of millet porridge, other dairy products and vegetable sauce. Meat and rice are sometimes available but are considered to be luxurious foods.
Village chief, Yero Sow, explained how much they rely on forests as a means to provide shade for animals and crops, but also on trees’ leaves and fruits for medicinal purposes. Yero claimed that Boscia senegalensis leaves can mitigate fever and cold symptoms, whereas fruit extracts of Ziziphus mauritiana are used to heal skin disorders. It is the reason why the population of Bowde Doudal Bisnabe is so keen on restoring a forest landscape near their homesteads. During our meeting Yero reconfirmed full support and participation in the protection and management of the Diéry forest.