Sustainable hydro-agricultural infrastructure requires the involvement of local actors
In Senegal, agriculture is the principal economic activity in rural areas. Because of population growth and increasing urbanisation, higher domestic agricultural production has become a prerequisite to ensure food security.
To achieve this goal, Senegal and Belgium have jointly designed the Retention Basins and Well Development Project (BARVAFOR), which aims to ensure that livestock breeders and farmers in the Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack and Thiès regions have sustainable access to productive water in view of increasing production.
The realisation of hydro-agricultural infrastructure such as embankments, anti-salt dams and boreholes aims to meet the growing need for water of the agricultural sector. The technical aspects of this type of project often are dominating and risk to outweigh participatory aspects that are important for the targeted populations to take on ownership of the infrastructure.
Because of the profound changes triggered by such infrastructure, the involvement of populations in designing the projects and in any further step towards their achievement are fundamental to ensure the investments are sustainable.