Oases and palm groves in Chad: The struggle against desertification becomes organised

Project completed

In the great oases of the north, where water is abundant, the conditions for the practice of market gardening and the cultivation of fruit trees are favourable. The production of dates and the activity of gardening provide revenues that families need to feed themselves and access education and health. For several decades, this remarkable potential has been threatened by growing desertification.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Agriculture & food security
Environmental policy
Agricultural development
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
01.06.2009 - 28.02.2014
CHF 1'406'000

The effects of desertification on springs and fertile soil and damage to natural vegetation constitute real threats to the entire region. Some communities that are aware of this challenge, with the assistance of the Rural Development Programme, have drawn up strategies, particularly by establishing communal organisations (committees and groups), for the management of the environment with the involvement of the authorities (administrative, traditional and communal) and the diaspora living in the cities of the country. They have undertaken campaigns aimed at protecting young shoots, promoting communal reforestation, and winning the struggle against the sanding up of springs. Village committees responsible for protecting the environment, and which can contribute to conserving natural resources, have been created.

The results of this support are encouraging. They demonstrate the awareness of the local players and their commitment to the need to combat desertification:

  • More than 14000 metres of palisades woven with palms have been constructed along the wind corridors.
  • The soil contaminated by sand has been reclaimed and put to good use by the owners. Some 150 date seedlings have been planted on the soil freed from the sand dunes.
  • The protection and regeneration of vegetation have allowed the ground water to be recharged.

The global objective of the programme is the improvement, perpetuation and wider resonance of local activities aimed at combating desertification, and the development of relations and consultation between the relevant actors and the National Office for the Struggle against Desertification, in order to consolidate and strengthen the measures already put in place and to have them implemented as part of a long-term national policy that will cover all the areas concerned.