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River bank restoration in Chad

Objective: 
Impacts addressed: 
Organisation: 
Environment and Development Action in the Third World
Body: 

Local name of practice: Gongon

Country/region/village: Chad/Mayo Kibbi Est / Mont Illi and Fianga community

Community: Fianga

Context

The community of Fianga in Chad are responding to the deterioration of river banks and the impact on fish resources by planting trees around the banks as a protective measure. The technology is applied at the community level in several villages in the locality of Mount Illi, amongst a population of approximately 43,000 inhabitants. The technology relates to the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and water resources in the context of climate mitigaiton and adaptation, and specifically addresses the need for food security, livelihood supply and river bank safety. There are also challenges related to overfishing, and drought has led to the disappearance of plant species around the lakes- a phenomenon which has led to the silting up of lakes with the floods and the disappearance of fish species. 

Description

This endogenous technology originated from the community and has now been transferred from one generation to the other. It consists of a system of integrating agriculture into the lake area. Agriculture is practiced around the banks of the lakes and lake water is used in the dry season to irrigate dry banks. Furthermore, bunds, ravines and tree planting reduce the silting of the lake and limit the risk of flooding. Restoration of the river banks is done by planting trees around the banks as a protective measure. The elements involve having a nursery and availability of compost, and knowing how to set up bunds. The soils will need to be fertilized and plants protected by fencing. The practitioners of this technology have acquired technical and organizational skills for several years. These capabilities include among other things: :

  • The establishment of nursery
  • Composting and soil fertilization techniques
  • The establishment of bunds, treatment of ravines, monitoring plants watering, fence 

Knowledge of this technology is shared through community meetings with the whole population, community radio,  relocation of community members as well as through visiting of the villagers by outsiders. The technology and approach has proven to be profitable and generates an increase and alternative source of income for producers, while parts of the harvest is for family consumption. The revenues are derived from the regulation of the fishery, the production of fruit for sale, the revenue from the fish catch and the shipping of the trees. Some income goes toward contributing to a fund for monitoring and controlling the resources generated from the productions and support of the organization, as well as for other agricultural input. The technology requires elaborating an annual action plan approved by all stakeholders concerned, as well as developing a river bank development plan. 

The cost of the technology ranges from 8 to 9 million CFA francs (USD 18,000), divided into:

  • Regeneration cost
  • Haying cost
  • Organization of actors (meeting, implementation of governance tools, etc.)
  • Establishment of cooperatives,
  • In-kind contributions 
     

Benefits of the technology

Benefits and performances of the technology are related to :

  • Building capacity of actors for managing the environment
  • Securing income from sale of fish, revenues from fruit trees, straw production for roofs of houses, feed for cattle etc. to meet health and education costs 
  • Food self-sufficiency and food security for people and livestock
  • Disaster risk reduction by preventing the banks of rivers from overflowing into agricultural lands and siltation of soils
  • Protection of the ecosystem and biodiversity through soil restoration, return of aquatic species, hippos, caimans, birds increase, and water becoming clearer

The development of technology could be constrained by:

  • The lack of financial resources
  • Social and cultural norms causing reluctance from some people,
  • Corruption
  • Lack of respect for management rules
     

The direct beneficiaries of the practice are : agricultural producers, fishermen, Livestock keepers, fishmongers 
The indirect beneficiaries of the practice are: consumers, and family members 
Other potential beneficiaries: The entire population can enjoy it. The municipality has more than 35 000 inhabitants and the consideration of the five islets of approximately 300.000 inhabitants 

Gender considerations

Women are as concerned with the technology as men. They benefit from the benefits of this technology, particularly in the marketing of fish products from lakes and agricultural products. They are heavily involved in river bank and field restoration operations around the lakes. However, the work is very time demanding so women sometimes end up in conflict with their husbands and the community has experienced some issues related to insecurity on the roads. 

Potential for technology transfer and up-scaling 

This technology does not necessarily require a particular level of education but reading documents and training material may facilitate its implementation. The technique of fertilization can be deployed on a large scale along river banks, 

Recommendations for dissemination:

  • Practice building and deployment requires:
  • Strengthening support;
  • Support in the transfer mechanism;
  • Reducing the vulnerability of farmers;
  • Compliance with the management rules by the authority 

References

Djekore M. 2016. Mission de recueil des meilleures pratiques en matière de gestion durable des terres en vue de leur diffusion, CILSS,  126 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