November 2022 was the occasion for IRHA to carry out a field visit to Senegal in order to follow the evolution of the activities implemented by IRHA and its partners: APAF SN, Océanium de Dakar and Caritas Kaolack. This mission also allowed Océane, an intern at IRHA, to discover Senegal, its landscapes and its population. As part of her master's thesis at the University of Geneva, she is studying the links between land salinisation, local agricultural practices and the various land management strategies.
For my part, this mission was my fourth visit to Senegal after 2019, 2020 and early 2022 during the World Water Forum in Dakar. I found my reference points in the communities, such as the food, the simplicity of daily life and the strong social links. I was also surprised by the magnificent green landscapes. Thanks to a very generous rainy season, nature, which was dormant during the dry season, has suddenly sprung back to life. Water lilies appear on the water bodies, grassy clumps of more than two metres high cover the uncultivated land and the trees are clothed in a thick coat of leaves.
I was enchanted by all this life, which was omnipresent compared to the sandy landscape I knew. The strength of this nature has encouraged me to continue to undertake through the IRHA projects an extension of this period. Developments such as boulis and agroforestry help to strengthen ecosystems through the creation of woodland cover, retention and infiltration of rainfall. Finally, with climate change becoming increasingly pronounced, ecosystem resilience is needed to sustain rural communities increasingly affected by rural-urban migration.