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Benin

The context

Over the last 50 years desertification has progressed in the Sahelian region of Africa (below the Sahel desert). The result of this major environmental predicament is that cropland has become too dry and is longer suitable for cultivation. This in turn means increased poverty in countries like Benin and Burkina Faso.
The main causes of this progressive desertification are freak climate changes as well as human activities which constantly impoverish natural resources. For further information, see “Context in Burkina Faso

Another major problem in Benin is food insecurity in rural areas. Climatic changes and population growth have resulted in reducing the amount of suitable cropland and thus diminishing the quantity of food available every year. In other respects, as the villages are a long way from the cities with only moderately developed infrastructures, it is more difficult for the villagers to transform the agricultural products they have harvested, get to the cities to sell their produce and to shop for foodstuffs.

It is therefore essential to fight against food insecurity in countries like Benin. The IHP has decided to join this cause and work with local partners in the region of Abomey in Benin.

The development project

In Benin, we will participate in two areas of intervention.

First, the fight against desertification is an issue we have felt strongly about ever since the beginning of our activities in West Africa. In Benin, like in Burkina Faso we will contribute to slowing down desertification by planting trees.

The second action consists in supporting our partners in their fight against food insecurity. An important part of the money collected by the students will be devoted to a village development project set up by our local partner, the NGO ALDIPE. The ultimate objective is to ensure food autonomy (??) in the villages.

The way to achieve this is by developing several food-processing activities in a village of Allahé so that the villagers are be able to diversify their farming activities and therefore ensure a better production in terms of quantity, quality and also variety. The different projects already supported by our partner are: support for the rice processing industry (rice production, transformation, commercialization), market gardening (vegetables and fruit) poultry, rabbit and pig farming, irrigation of market garden plots (motor-pump system), setting up a school-farm, sanitary installations, etc.

 

The partners

ALDIPE is an NGO involved in honest development and environmental protection. Their aim is to take part in the socio-economic and cultural development of Benin by supporting deprived areas and underprivileged sections of the population through approaches centered on encouraging responsibility and self-promotion.

RAJES is a network of associations of young people undertaking to build a better future. They organize awareness raising activities in the fields of health, school hygiene and protection of the environment.

 

The Environment Ministry and in particular the administrative district of Abomey. They see to the daily supervision of the reforestation work. They select the species that will be planted and make sure the planting work goes smoothly.