SISAM: strengthening women’s access to Improved Solar Irrigation Systems in West Africa

Description of the project: SISAM project is an innovative solar irrigation solution (local, sector, affordable, renewable, adapted to the constraints of family farming) that meets the needs of 100 market garden farms, mostly managed by women who have little access to water. A local production line and distribution of pumps, known as “minivolanta”, have been built, as well as access to local microfinance (micro leasing). Activities include production, financing, distribution, maintenance of pumps and irrigation installations. The project contributes to the increased income of market gardeners, as well as freeing up time.

Climate impact: The development of local solar pumping solutions ensures a 100% renewable response to addressing water needs. The project allows market gardeners to ensure production in the dry season and provides training in good water management practices aimed at combating further drying-up and degradation of arid zones. By mitigating the carbon impact through technology that limits CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and international transport, and enabling adaptation and food self-sufficiency, the project aims to have a concrete impact on
climate change.

Gender impact: Women’s involvement is ensured at all stages of the project by taking into account gender specificities, setting up separate meetings and childcare, and dedicated trainings, and enabling participation in management. The priority targets are the farms managed by women. Although women make up the majority of market gardeners in sub-Saharan Africa, their access to resources and funding is limited. Gender impacts include improving women’s incomes, building their capacity, easing their workload, and empowering them.

Scalability / replicability: SISAM plans to reinforce and disseminate this action beyond the first 100 beneficiary farms. Regional and national authorities are involved in the consultation process leading to the signing of conventions. An impact assessment and capitalization process is planned in order to determine the modalities for upscaling. An information campaign on the effectiveness of SISAM solutions for food security and irrigation improvements, the development of the local economy, and a better quality of life for workers and households will be conducted.