Natural Resource Management, Senegal

AVED Colibantan (Association Villageoise pour l’Education et le Développement de Colibantan)

Start Date: November 2015

Est. completion Date: November 2016

AVED Colibantan

AVED Colibantan is an association with a focus on natural resource management, poverty reduction, education and awareness raising based in the Tambacounda department of eastern Senegal. The association’s history is closely linked to that of Kalipha Athie, one of its founders. A shepherd up to the age of 20 and illiterate, he left his village in the 1980s, hoping for a better life in the capital Dakar. He became disillusioned with the poverty he found there and decided to learn to read and to get involved in international reforestation programmes. In 1999 he took the opposite trajectory to most young people in Senegal and moved back to his native village of Colibantan, convinced that his future and that of his community lay in a collective mobilisation for change. He is now father to five young children and remains a determined advocate for the environment and for his community. The association has been involved in several development initiatives, and has worked on encouraging market gardens and natural resource management since 2011.

ITF Project Involvement

The ITF project with AVED Colibantan continues the work begun in 2011, and aims to tackle some of the consequences of poverty, poor management of natural resources and environmental degradation (malnutrition, difficulties in accessing healthcare, rural exodus). The expected outcomes of the project are to raise awareness of 1,000 new people on natural resource management, to train 40 villagers in 10 different villages in agroforestry and agroecology techniques (including beekeeping), to establish 10 village nurseries and to plant over 8,500 trees on 30 different sites. The project has focused on raising awareness and providing training and support for the local communities, allowing them to establish a variety of revenue generating agricultural activities founded on a rational and sustainable management of environmental resources.

Training centre

The AVED training centre set up in 2010 is central to the aims of this project. Part of the training and monitoring is being carried out by a recognised agroecology instructor who has worked with AVED for several years.  AVED has already organised 10 gardening and agroecology training sessions in its training centre and 283 people have already been trained in agroecology nursery techniques. 8 tree nurseries in 7 villages are active and are now waiting for the beginning of September (rainy season) to begin reforestation activities.  The coming months will be very busy as the communities of the Tambacounda region begin their reforestation activities, planting over 8,500 trees. They will mostly be planting Acacias, Cashew Nut and fruit trees, and some endangered indigenous species.  The trees being planted will provide food, fodder and natural fertiliser; encourage beekeeping and help with soil conservation; and some can even be used for medicinal purposes.

Kalipha Athie says, “This project supported by ITF is, for many villages and people, a small seed sown in their minds and an initial experience. We are confident that in the future, little by little, populations will engage more and in an increasingly autonomous way with the creation of tree nurseries and reforestation actions.”

““Acting together for dignity and against poverty”, AVED’s motto”

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