For Immediate Release
Kaymor - The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, has dedicated a 645-meter anti-salt dike that will allow farmers to cultivate and irrigate more than 250 hectares of previously un-arable farmland in the Kaolack region.
By isolating water for irrigation from salt intrusion and rising sea levels, the dike, constructed at a cost of 215 million francs CFA (US $430,000), represents part of USAID’s efforts to combat the devastating effects of climate change in Senegal, and contributes to improved food security from recovered agriculture, forest and grazing lands.
“This construction is very important for the future of agriculture and protection of biodiversity in the Kaolack region,” USAID/Senegal Mission Director Henderson Patrick said at an inauguration ceremony. “We expect the value of this project to the community will far exceed its initial cost and will pay for itself quickly.”
“The American people through USAID, have re-energized an important ecosystem and helped us adapt to the effects of climate change through this important project,” Haidar El Ali, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, said at the inauguration.
The Kaymor Rural Community is located along an ancient drainage system known as the “Bao Bolong.” Since the 1970s, decreased rainfall combined with rising sea levels has permitted salt water from the Gambia River estuary to infiltrate into the adjacent land, killing forests and rendering the surrounding land useless for farming.
The new Kaymor anti-salt dike prevents this salt water intrusion, and will enable the recovery and protection of 250 hectares of land that can be used for rice cultivation, vegetable gardens, reforestation, and grains cultivation.
The presence of the dike also protects the local water table and ensures fresh water in the community’s wells used for drinking water. The Kaymor community has been a longstanding partner in development with USAID, and recently received farming equipment such as rice threshers, corn and rice hullers, and heavy equipment, including tractors.
USAID/Wula Nafaa, which has been one of USAID’s flagship agricultural and natural resources management project since 2008, has invested more than $23 million under the global Feed the Future Initiative in rural areas for the benefit of more than 40,000 individuals, resulting in more than 10,000 tons of additional crops produced by 10,000 rural enterprises, generating earnings of over $36 million.
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Last updated: September 25, 2014