The Economic, Social and Cultural Development Program (PDESC) of the Waati Yelema Labenw Project being implemented in the Koulikoro region of Mali is now operational. Validation, the last phase of PDESC’s preparation, was completed in June 2018. PDESC is the result of a participatory diagnosis that was carried out in each Project community with the involvement of communal advisors.
This marks a step forward for the Project, whose team has just started its series of restitution meetings for community diagnosis sessions with the communities and communal advisors of 10 communes in the regions of Segou, Mopti and Koulikoro.
“I am satisfied with the Waati Yelema Labenw project approach, they brought us together under our palaver tree and asked us about the difficulties and realities we are experiencing as a result of climate change. We talked about the lack of water, our market-gardening perimeters, especially for us women, and our urgent needs in terms of quality seeds, etc.” – Farima Diarra 33 years old, housewife and farmer from the village of Manta in the Massantola commune.
“Bringing together the villagers so that we could talk about our problems created a kind of understanding and cohesion between us. It made us closer and supportive of each other, and united we took into account the opinion of everyone! “ – Tchefolo Diarra, farmer in the village of Ganabamana.
Participative Identification of Community Priorities for Better Planning
It is important to know that the progressive development of new global and regional high-resolution climate models is the basis for more rational adaptation planning.
Hence the need to establish a process of direct consultation and dialogue with the communities designated as the main stakeholders, and demonstrate the situation of intervention villages using a combination of tools such as seasonal calendars, social maps, chronological charts, etc.
Communities had spontaneously developed initiatives to maintain a certain level of resilience in the areas of agriculture, livestock and forestry. However, the lack of structuring and prioritization of these initiatives was an obstacle to the real strengthening of adaptation to climate shocks, as explains Tchêfolo Diarra, a 30 year old farmer in the Banamba commune, “We had a specific method of using compost, but after the training initiated by the Project, we realized that this method was not bad, but was not effective in achieving our goals. We understood that it was relevant and more astute to adapt our techniques to our realities.”
Fruitful, informative and diverse exchanges with communities and rural advisors led to the development of a tailored action plan.
Action Plan Update, Improved Resilience to Climate Shocks
The communities which have been implicated, from the diagnostic phase to the validation phase, know the PDESC content and recognize themselves in the work. They will be able to effectively play their role as citizens by holding their elected officials accountable, based on their respect of the norms and the execution of their actions of development according to the directives of the redeveloped plan.
These citizen actions help to improve local governance, particularly citizen control of public action, relating to climate change priorities.
Integrating community priorities in PDSEC allows for project continuity, a revitalization of municipal management organs and a reinforcement of leadership capacity to ensure a better transfer of skills.
The Waati Yelema Labenw project is implemented by IRD/Blumont in partnership with AMASSA, Afrique Verte and ICRISAT, and is funded by DFID. It aims to improve the resilience of individuals in Mali that are vulnerable to the dangers of climate change by reaching 26,000 beneficiaries, including 4,000 women, and improving income, savings and access to finance, through the creation of 90 companies and durable savings groups which are adapted to the climate and market-oriented.