The award of the Foundation, whose decision was announced on 30 November, has been awarded the project presented by Alliance for Solidarity for the construction of a dam-bridge over the Sofaniama River in the border region of Casamance, which not only allow rural communities to communicate Nioro Katim and Passy Ndery, now separated by the bed of Sofaniama but also create hydraulic infrastructures that encourage rice cultivation in the most depressed of the country. Both communities belong to the municipality of the department of Kolda Kéréwane near the border between Senegal and Gambia.,es
Currently, more than half of the population of the Valley of Sofaniama (53%), despite being a fertile place, live below poverty threshold because, largely because their agricultural and livestock development is linked to the rains increasingly scarce due to climate change, but when they arrive they do so torrential. The lack of infrastructure not only not allowed to use the water for their crops, but that when it rains flooded many parts of the Valley, preventing the passage of people, food, or medical and educational services. This mismanagement of water resources favors a food insecurity that is chronic and causes that 70% of children suffer from anemia.
The dam-bridge proposed by Alliance for Solidarity and whose final design was carried out by Isabel López Barnabas, will actually with this award, allowing the passage of people and vehicles over the river throughout the year. Thus, not only the two rural communities mentioned Regulation, but a new way of connection between Gambia and Senegal, essential to increase trade in the region will also open. It is estimated that more than 50,780 people in the border area will no longer have access problems during the rainy season.,es
As for water infrastructure for agriculture, the project commitment to perform, in addition to the dam-bridge, a spillway upstream of Sofaniama river and a bypass channel of water controlled by a gate designed to divert water to growing areas rice now can not exploit.,es
The goal is to recover up to 50 hectares of land for this basic cereal in the diet of the population in Casamance. This implies a sufficient annual output of 90 tons to meet the food needs of about 1,300 people. An important factor to consider is that using local technology, easy handling and low maintenance is prioritized, so that once the work is finished, the dam-bridge may become the responsibility of local authorities and farmers who take advantage of the water on their farmland without complications involving them in the future.,es
The building, once received funding, is expected to last eight months, between October and may to avoid the rainy season.
In total, the estimated number of direct beneficiaries will amount to 2.119 people, 1,096 men and 1,023 women belonging to different ethnic groups (peulhs, wolofs, serer, Mandingo and diolas), to which must be added the more than 50,000 who will use the dique-puente for transit.
Alliance solidarity has been working in Casamance Senegalese local organization FODDE since 2007. In these 10 years, the Spanish NGO has made numerous works, among which a dam of 1.5 km is located in the North Bank, in this case in the Gambia, which has made it possible to contain the arrival of salt water to crops, project that was funded by the Spanish Agency for international co-operation for development (AECID).