In search of the blue gold

by Marine Protte-Rieg | 6 January 2021

Image In search of the blue gold

Faced with demographic growth and the future amplification of climate change and health crises, rainwater is more than ever a precious resource for the sahelian rural populations. Channeling, collecting and storing this ephemeral "blue gold" becomes vital, to guarantee the fragile balance between the different uses of water, which tend to cause more conflicts each year.

In collaboration with the Water Harvesting Lab of Florence Univesity (Italy), APAF Senegal and local stakeholders, IRHA Senegal’s team is currently conducting a field survey in its Fatick intervention area, in order to target areas suitable for anti-erosion, rainwater collection and storage devices.

Using a cartography of the watershed and its hydrographic network, compared with the empirical knowledge of local stakeholders, several high potential areas have been selected, studied and geolocated. Once validated by all the stakeholders (communities, technical services, communities, etc.), these areas will become the subject of pilot landscaping, based on the training-application of local communities and the use of local materials.

After an experimentation and readjustment phase, the systems put in place can be replicated at the territorial level and in other areas in Senegal, thus contributing to the restoration of ecosystems and an integrated rainwater management.

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