Like the Sahelian countries, Mali is not immune to climate change. Wetlands International is involved in adaptation to climate change and reducing disaster risk through the management and restoration of ecosystems. It is a component of the Partners for Resilience Programme (PfR) set up with other partners for that purpose. Many achievements have been made to the benefit of communities affected by climate change to improve the lives of seven villages in the area we have visited. It is the case with the channel dug in Noga, a village affected by the phenomenon, hence facing muliple challenges.
It is 10 am on this Tuesday, a winter morning. We are in Noga. The road is impassable due to the rain that has pored in the area. There is mud lays down the path. One has to maneuver to find the way. The path is not easy but that didn’t alter our determination to get into Noga. Malick, an experienced driver who mastered the area, led us slowly but surely towards Noga with the L200 pickup of Wetlands International Office in Mali. ''In a few days, should the rainy season finally settled here, this town would become very isolated and difficult to access. You have to board a Pinasse (local canoe) to go to Noga '' says Mr. Sidiki Djiteye, a representative of the village at the Malian Association for the Protection and Development of the Environment (AMPRODE / Sahel).
After a nearly two hours drive and a river crossing by ferry, we arrived in Noga. The temperature has dropped to around 28° C. Noga is a village in central Mali, and is severely hit by climate change that have impacted negatively on the living conditions of the population. This being the case, Wetlands International and its partners are working since the past 4 years in the area in the Partners Program for Resilience (PfR). The organization has conducted works for digging the ‘'Channel of Hope'’. This is a huge 2km300 long channel. We visited this infrastructure with representatives of Noga. This channel, which was an old dream for local people for years, will kickoff rice and fishing activities. Already, hope was born again in the area. Local communities are very happy and enthusiastic ''with the digging of the channel, the plain you see there is going to be flooded and rice as well as fishing in the area will again be possible as in the past. That’s our hope ‘' said proudly Ibrahima Sow, member of prevention and disaster management committee from the village of Noga. With this channel, Wetlands International has made real a dream that was so dear to the people of Noga and its surroundings. '' Many partners came here, this complaint was laid on their table but they did nothing, so we thank the Wetlands International sponsored project. We are very happy'' says Sow who has lived a long time in Cameroon before returning to his home village.
Once completed, the channel should ensure the water supply of the 7 villages of the locality, namely: Wampiri, Tanouma Touské (meaning Small in Fulani local language ) Tanouma Great Kakania, Payona Petit and Grand Payona Noga . The five ponds (Thiagal Kori Ngaiga Nora, Koundia Nawal, Nawal Iro and Sawol Current) which once brought happy lfe in the village, are filled with water and connected to the channel to the delight of the 10,000 inhabitants of the Noga area.
For the sustainability of the channel, residents intend to invest in biological fixation with plants to stabilize the banks and protect them from erosion.
'' Several decades ago, rice production was abundant, the fish too and in times of recession, corn was cultivated in the area and life was good in Noga '' recalls with nostalgia Amadou Traore, the village chief. Today the site has experienced severe degradation due to human activities. The damage backs to 1969 if we are to believe the evidence collected on the spot. Then came the idea of saving the village by digging '‘the Channel of Hope''.
The Noga channel for rice cultivation and fishing is dug as an activity of the Partners for Resilience Program (PfR). The project is an initiative of Wetlands International in alliance with environmental advocacy organizations such as the Malian GRAT (Group for Research and Technical Applications), AMPRODE / Sahel (Malian Association for the Protection and Environmental Development in the Sahel, ODI / Sahel (Integrated Development Organization in the Sahel) Governmental structures and decentralized structures. The Partners for Resilience (PfR) are funded by Wetlands International, Netherland’s Red Cross, Care International Mali, Cordaid, the Centre on Climate Change of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
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