Afforestation with micro-catchments in Niger

Impacts addressed



Half-moon with tree species Acacia Senegal, built by locals. Photo credit: Rodrigo Ordonez/GLF

Local name of practice: Handou Rabi

Country/region/village: Niger/Tillabéry/Ninefouno

Community: Ninefouno


Drought and subsequent land degradation in the Tillabéry region in Niger has led to a decrease in agricultural yields and income generation. The community has responded by developing a method for micro-catchments by building semi-circles (half-moons) from local material perpendicular to the direction of the run-off water. This endogenous technology addresses the forestry and land management subsector and contributes to climate change adaptation. The technique has been improved with community seedling production and nursery.


In order to recover bare or degraded lands, the Ninefouno communities build semicircles with small materials arranged perpendicular to the direction of the runoff water. Subsequently, the half-moon bed and embankment are afforested with both native and appropriate species (e.g. Acacia Senegal, Acacia mellifera, etc.) contributing to the forest cover and land restoration. The skills and experiences throughout the community with regard to seedling production and nursery, permit the promotion of this novel technology for setting up half-moons which combine both water retention dimension, land restoration and reforestation management. Although the labor required is quite significant, Ninefouno agropasteurs, particularly women, are fully involved in the establishment of sylvo-pastoral half-moons. It constitutes a step to limit the impact of reduced rainfall and degradation of agricultural lands and forest resources. The collection of runoff waters promotes the regeneration of vegetation cover, contributing on the one hand to the availability of fodder and on the other hand, to the reconstitution of the grasses on degraded lands. From another perspective, the improvement of grass cover enhances the livestock feeding. This is important as the areas is also experiencing lack of forage resources due to erratic weather conditions and a changing climate.  

In terms of achievements, the agro-pastoralists of Ninefouno have mastered the techniques of forest nurseries, planting and maintenance plans and especially the making of half-moons. Programs at community radio stations have been organized to raise awareness on the benefits of the technology. The strong involvement of women is partly related to the cash remuneration received during the semicircle construction work. A local committee for the management and guarding of sylvo-pastoral half-moons has been set up and is functional

Costs involved: 100 person per ha (monetary terms: average of 1$USD per person per day). 6 half-moons can be performed per day

Benefits of the technology 

  • Rehabilitation of degraded lands,
  • Mitigation of the effects of water erosion induced by water runoff 
  • Increase in forage production,
  • Improved biodiversity through the return of wildlife, regeneration of trees and grass species, and reduced pressure on forest resources
  • Promotion of recharge of the water table
  • Increased motivation of women due to the financial remuneration of the workforce provided

Recommendations for technology transfer: 

  • Mastery of construction and maintenance techniques for half-moons
  • Existence of a local management and guarding committee
  • Conducting awareness raising campaigns through community radios

Gender considerations

In addition to agro-pastoralists, women in the area receive financial remuneration during construction work on the semicircles for the half-moon technology. During the implementation of sylvo-pastoral half-moons, the involvement of women is quite active during the construction of the embankment arranged in rainbow form and its permanent maintenance. In addition, the sowing of species and its maintenance throughout the embankment are conducted both women and men. Besides the financial remuneration received, women are able to collect forage resource for feeding their smale scale livestock units.

Potential for technology transfer and up-scaling

The stages of the technology transfer process include:

  • Initiation of dialogue between agro-pastoralists of the rural district of Tagazar/Tillabery
  • Exchange visits and practical training
  • Organization of radio broadcasts with the beneficiaries
  • Participatory training sessions on best practises in technology

Potential barriers: Significant physical effort required to set up half-moons, and limited financial resources at the end of the support of the partner. Compensation for the physical effort of women cannot be provided by direct beneficiaries in the absence of financial partners. 


Bello O. M. M. 2016. Bonnes Pratiques en matière de gestion des terres, gestion des ressources naturelles et changements climatiques, rapport  Intermédiaire, CILSS,  84 p.

Dramé A. Kiema A. 2016. Connaissances endogènes : les bonnes pratiques d’atténuation et d’adaptation aux changements climatiques en Afrique de l’Ouest, Enda Energie, 94 p