When the desert advances…

The association SOS Enfants, created in 1982, is active worldwide in the fields of education, vocational training and health. Its motto: “Aid without assistance”. In Burkina Faso, with its local partners, it fights desertification and its devastating effects. By proposing a new form of land development, the program trains the peasants in water saving practices.

Social and Employment

Village of Doanghin, province of Oubritenga, Burkina Faso

Virginie Maurin

10,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/03/28
  Project leader SOS ENFANTS

«  “By fighting desertification, by setting up a land development plan with the peasants themselves, this program helps improve the quality of life of the population, prevent their migration to the city slums, enabling them not just to “survive” but to live, and on their own land besides. I am convinced that it is very important to avoid “uprooting” individuals from their environment. »

Virginie Maurin

The situation in the Sahel has steadily deteriorated since the 1970s. Worse extreme temperatures, more exceptional events, drought, floods, disappearance of certain plant species, erosion. A naturally critical situation exacerbated by inappropriate human activity: overfarming, overgrazing, destruction of the plant cover, repeated brush fires, etc.
Since 1995, SOS Enfants, alongside a local association of Burkina peasants, AZN (Zoramb Naagtaba) proposes a land development project to the peasants, in the form of woodland.

The aim is to preserve the soils and to utilize the storm water. The first experimental perimeters have been set up in the province of Oubritenga, 60 km north of Ouagadougou.
On plots 100 hectares in size, dykes, hedges and ponds retain the storm water, preventing runoff and the flashfloods that sweep away everything in their path. This reorganization calls for cultivated plots, fallow plots, and others reserved for grazing.
Today, the development of the new 110 hectare perimeter in the village of Doanghin is planned at a total cost of 39 600 euros. The villagers are so satisfied with the effectiveness of the crop methods implemented by the association that they themselves have got together the sum of 1500 euros. The Veolia foundation will supply a grant of 10 000 euros, the remainder being covered by two other NGOs.