E-FAITOU: accelerating the energy transition by providing solar mobile services to women farmers

Description of the project: E-FAITOU facilitates access to solar energy for women farmers in Senegal through an innovative and inclusive concept of mobile multi-service trucks offering rental of solar equipment and post-harvest processing equipment (dryers, mills, refrigerators), charging stations, and digital platforms. Women farmers’ chores are alleviated through mechanized processing of their harvest, facilitated access to market information and education. They can increase productivity thanks to productive solar equipment and access new income generating activities through direct access to online services. This original pilot project, started in Senegal, is expected to develop across all of West Africa.

Climate impact: Solar technologies are well developed and increasingly affordable. Because of their strong potential for climate mitigation and economic development (Rural Electrification Alliance report), they should be widely disseminated. The amount of kW and CO2 mitigated through use of the productive solar stations and electricity production (solar generator on the trailer) is estimated at more than 3000 tons over 5 years.

Gender impact: Supported by 4 French-Senegalese women entrepreneurs who put the empowerment of rural women at the heart of their vision, this project significantly alleviates the burden of women’s agricultural work while increasing their productivity and opening up new opportunities for creative income generation. Access to online services strengthens financial inclusion and access to information and education, thus empowering micro-entrepreneurs and strengthening the rural economy.

Scalability / replicability: E-FAITOU works in close collaboration with local agencies supporting the beneficiaries -be it groups or micro-entrepreneurs- to identify their needs in planning the route of the service vehicle fleet. After phase 2, covering the rural areas of Senegal, E-FAITOU plans to expand to Benin during phase 3, thanks to a strong entrepreneurial economic model that was awarded by the CTCN / ECOWAS and PFAN.

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Women processing fish on the path to a circular economy at Guet Ndar, Saint-Louis of Senegal

Description of the project: In Saint-Louis, Senegal, fish smoking, a women’s activity, still uses expensive, high-emitting and polluting sources of energy. This pilot project proposes a sustainable, economical and ecological energy solution for a Group of Collective Interest (GIE) consisting of 700 women fish-processors. By recovering waste from their activities through composting units (organic fertilizer) and methanization, this innovative technology brings sustainable ecological and economic benefits to a highly feminized and low value-added business sector.

Climate impact: Saint-Louis is threatened by rising waters. It is crucial to mitigate climate impacts in this region. The installation of 6 biodigestors feeding 10 cooking platforms can neutralize 12 t. of methane and 252 t. of CO2 per year. Also, wood fuel savings and the composting of halieutic by-products into organic fertilizer greatly reduces the climate footprint of this process. A wide expansion of the process is planned throughout Saint-Louis, within the framework of the National Biogas Program.

Gender impact: The project takes a gender approach from design to implementation to evaluation. The benefits are multiple: hard work (collection of wood) is considerably reduced, as well as the negative health impact of wood burning; the cost of energy decreases and the production of digestate (sold as fertilizer) creates added value; and revenues from product processing are significantly improved. In total, the project empowers 700 women workers through decent income generation and sustainable development.

Scalability / replicability: The involvement of beneficiaries in the construction and management of methanization through an autonomous management structure ensures ownership of the project and its sustainability. The economic model is viable through the sales of excessive biogas and compost, which allows long-term maintenance of the facilities. This pilot, which involved local authorities, was designed to promote the transferability of technical knowledge and the replicability of the intervention method.

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Selling thermal baskets to keep food hot and reduce CO2 and waste

Description of the project: Association for Research Action Development and Environment in Sahel (ARADES) is developing and selling thermal baskets sold by women. This low-tech product enables households to save cooking fuel and reduce waste. This enhances sustainable development and civic behaviour. We hope to sell 44 000 thermal baskets per year, from which women can make an average revenue of US $220 per month.

Climate Impact: The energy context is characterized, for thirty years now by a strong energy demand with growth of 1.6% to 2%. This has led to more deforestation increasing climate change. However, the Senegalese area has considerable potential for biomass energy products like the thermal basket, an alternative energy source to traditional fuels, to enable further reductions of 50% in environmental impact, 50% in economic and 50 % in social costs. Given this situation, it is urgent to popularize the successful experiences of the value of thermal baskets. The community organizations have been a strong mobilizer of young men and women whose earnest desire is to bring a positive change.

Gender Impact: The ARADES network has eight member associations of women between Saint-Louis and Thies ranging from 15 to over 200 members each. They work in girl’s education, the protection of the environment, food processing, sewing, dyeing, selling biochar and improved stoves, solar cookers, and income generating activities. The managing committee is composed of environmentalists, lawyers in public law, teachers of home economics and, foreign languages, students in literature, cartographers, economists and facilitators in OCBs. The Impact is ARADES‘s challenge. It is to help the community to benefit from experiences by helping people throughout the social scale to take maximum advantage of scientific and technological progress while creating jobs and revitalizing their respective sectors.

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Community-based adaptation to climate change in rural Senegal

Description of the project: CREATE! collaborates with eight rural Senegalese communities to help residents 1) gain access to abundant and affordable clean water using renewable solar energy; 2) reduce deforestation and desertification through tree planting programs and the widespread use of locally built fuel-efficient clay/sand improved cook stoves; and 3) improve their health and security through sustainable agriculture and other income generating activities. CREATE! empowers village women for self-development, using training strategies based on local knowledge, participation, and social mobilization to maximize self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

Climate Impact: Rural Senegal is experiencing drought, deforestation, and desertification resulting from climate change. CREATE! programs train and empower rural women to reduce deforestation, promote alternative energy technologies, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Solar-powered pumps in our villages’ rehabilitated wells provide year-round access to clean water without producing carbon emissions. During our 2015 reforestation campaign, women-led cooperatives in CREATE! communities planted 19,000 tree seedlings throughout their villages. Trees serve as windbreaks and stabilize soils to slow desertification in Senegal. This campaign, in conjunction with the widespread use of fuel-saving improved cook stoves, is helping to combat deforestation. The Senegalese government honored CREATE! for these contributions on World Environment Day in 2015.

Gender Impact: In CREATE! partner villages, women and their families now have access to clean water, fresh food, and income generating opportunities. Our programs improve the health and safety of rural women while simultaneously reducing their workload. Because improved cook stoves use less wood, women can gather wood (and risk their safety) less frequently. Improved cook stoves also produce less smoke and reduce the risk of burns. With access to water, women can now work in female-led agricultural cooperatives to grow healthy vegetables throughout the year. Fresh vegetables improve diets and help women earn an income by selling produce in local markets. CREATE! programs empower women by helping them build financial security for their families through cooperative gardening, income generating programs, and community savings and lending associations.

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Strengthening women’s ancestral and artisanal fishery to preserve mangrove natural resources in the Saloum delta

Description of the project: Faced with rising water levels, soil salinization and industrial overfishing, women fishers from 7 villages of the Saloum River Delta restore and develop sustainable fishing and processing practices of mangrove shellfish. The catch is calibrated and weighted, biological recovery and reseeding is implemented and improved stoves and solar dryers are used for shellfish processing. Women participate in the regulation meetings of local artisanal fishing areas. They defend their rights and their ancestral knowledge to ensure their economic autonomy and preserve the endangered ecosystem on which the local population depends.

Climate Impact: The Saloum Delta and its fishing resources are threatened by rising water levels and heavy migration to the coastal areas. To prevent overfishing and deforestation, the women practice a balanced system based on knowledge transfer, consultation with elected officials to protect the resources, and the reforestation of the mangrove. These practices have improved the resilience of a precious ecosystem classified as a UNESCO Heritage site, and reduced CO2 emissions caused by wood burning.

Gender Impact: 4,800 women fishers have been trained to defend their rights to resources in the regulated fishing areas, to reduce the costs and the hardship of the processing tasks, and to improve marketing. A gender study of the fishery’s economic and gender relationships was conducted: daily time allocation, comparison of contributions to domestic and productive tasks. The objective is to strengthen economic solidarity and care within households.

Scalability / replicability: Proven methods of sustainable resource management, exchange of expertise within a structured network with the support of ENDA: the REFEPAS-network of women for artisanal fishing in Senegal. Replicable training modules on gender inequalities, capacity building for leadership, management and marketing. ENDA collaborates with the IUPA University Institute for Artisanal Fishing, the IRD, the Direction of natural parks, regional and local authorities.

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Agroecological women cooperatives ensure food sovereignty in drought threatened areas

Description of the project: Facing increasing droughts and water scarcity, inland areas in Senegal need to preserve food sovereignty through climate resilient and sustainable agriculture. The Afrika Mandela Ranch is an ecological farm school which also hosts an elementary school. Through a cooperative of women from surrounding villages (Mbondy, Kalassan, Keer Saer), it implements agroecology and income generating food production for women. Focusing on local natural resources and preserving the ambient ecosystem, the project fights erosion by planting trees and increasing soil fertility.

Climate Impact: The women agricultural cooperative supported by Mandela Ranch rebuilds the socio-environmental ecosystem with fruit plantations and agroforestry (planting trees around vegetable crops). The trees absorb CO2 and reduce soil erosion and ecosystem degradation by regenerating and fertilizing unproductive soils. The crop diversification helps mitigating and adapting to climate change. This projects enables more sustainable returns with increased revenues for women and enhances sustainable development at local level.

Gender Impact: The creation of a women’s cooperative has led to sustainable economic development for women and the community. Women have been trained on agroecological skills and product transformation: processing of fruit, vegetables and plants with small production lines. The project includes literacy courses on income generating activities, thus fostering women’s economic autonomy and emancipation. Through the positive results – well-being and better child nutrition – social cohesion in the community has improved.

Scalability /replicability: The Afrika Mandela Ranch runs an elementary school for children of the neighbouring villages, ensuring that pupils integrate and replicate climate-resilient behaviour in their daily life. This sustainable ranch model, combining children’s education, capacity building for women and ecological, healthy local food production, can be replicated in many countries.

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