Protecting desert culture

In a valley bordering the Sahara desert in Niger, the ADS association provides assistance to local Tuaregs in three key areas: access to water, healthcare and schooling.

Humanitarian and Development

Project leader

ADS (Association pour le Développement et la Solidarité)

Erough valley, Niger

Raymond-Max Aubert, Veolia

10,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2004/05/26

What is the best way to improve the lives of desperately poor populations living in semi-desert environments? By helping to provide schooling for their children and ensuring that they enjoy access to healthcare and water supplies.
This was the thinking behind the work of the ADS association, founded in 1993 at the instigation of Professor Bernard Delatire, in the Sahara-Sahelien zones of Niger. Its volunteer-run development projects always combine these three aspects. After an initial project in an adjoining valley, for the past three years ADS has been working with the Tuareg nomads of the Kel Tedele tribe in the Erough Valley. In the early 2000s, it had already helped build a health centre and a new school with three classrooms.

Guaranteeing water quality

Thanks to the grant from the Veolia foundation, ADS succeeded in building a complete water supply system comprising a water tower, a distribution network, and differentiated water access arrangements for the nomads and their animals, guaranteeing the quality of the water intended for human consumption. Showers and latrines were also constructed. Finally, the perimeter for market gardening has been protected from the devastating effects of annual flooding by means of earthworks and diking, so that the water can be efficiently channeled and distributed between the different plots. The Veolia foundation grant was therefore added to those from the SEDIF, Cogema, the French embassy and the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, to give the nomads of this region the means to conduct their development themselves.