Residents of a small village in Senegal are resisting the disasters of climate change and global warming, and the severe drought that it caused, with a project to grow vegetables and employ the population, after digging a well to provide irrigation water, using renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, and working ecosystems.
The project began in the village of Miserah, two young men who had failed to migrate to Europe via Libya, forcing them to search for a way to enable them to live in an area suffering from the consequences of climate change, according to the website “Relief Web”.
The Miserah farm is based mainly on women’s shoulders, as they grow vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, and eggplant, in addition to sesame and hibiscus.
In 2018, two Senegalese youths returned to their homeland in the village of Miserah, north of the capital, Dakar, after they failed to migrate to Europe via the Mediterranean coast in Libya, and began implementing a project to grow vegetables and some crops, after digging a well in the village, with the help of the United Nations Organization for Migration, which provided them with training in this field.
Although the village is located on the banks of a river, the Casamance region, which is the name of the river, and known for its tropical plants, has not been isolated from the problems of climate change.
The Kolda region around the village of Miserah suffers from drought and irregular rainfall, in addition to the increase in the salinity of its lands, especially near coastal areas; Because of beach erosion, sea level rise.
Also, rain does not fall regularly, which negatively affects the groundwater and the diversity of agricultural crops.
The United Nations Organization for Migration provided Senegalese nationals Salif Badji and Manding Taki with technical training and tools; To establish an agricultural project that relies on the use of solar energy to irrigate plants and work on the farm.
The two citizens were able to mobilize a large number of women and the elderly to work on the farm, which relies on a healthy ecosystem, giving them sustainable job opportunities and resisting the effects of climate change and global warming.
Unemployment rates are high in Kolda, which includes the village of Miserah, with a rate of 38.8%, followed by Matam in the north-east of the country with an unemployment rate of 54.2%, which far exceed the country’s average, as its rate stands at 25.7%, which makes the problems of climate change additional pressures.
Women Most Affected
Climate change affects Senegalese village women more than others, and they are the most affected; Because they usually work in agriculture, which negatively affects their families as well.
One of the workers in the village’s agricultural project, who grows onions and hibiscus, called Fatomata, a mother of 5 children, whose husband immigrated to Spain 3 years ago, and is no longer able to support them, said: “I have been able to buy my children’s supplies for a long time.”
The project not only helped the villagers to find a job and provide income, but also contributed to the improvement of social relations, and replaced the feeling of shame among the returnees from the failure of the migration experience to a sense of pride.