Côte d’Ivoire: UNDP gives a new face to the village of Darakokaha

The UNDP has implemented a project to rehabilitate community infrastructure in the village of Darakokaha, located in the sub-prefecture of Fronan, in the north of the country, through financial support totalling USD 90375.13. A real breath of fresh air for this population whose village has been transformed.

 

In Darakokaha in the sub-prefecture of Fronan, according to a report by the National Agency for Rural Development Support (Anader), conflicts between farmers and herders were giving rise to about five complaints per month to the traditional chiefs.

In addition, there were degradations linked to intensive cultivation and challenges to crop diversification due to lack of water. This was characterised by low yields (around 0.8 t/ha for lowland rice, 1.2 t/ha for aubergine, 1t/ha for okra and 0.5t/ha for tomato) and was a hindrance to the development of the inhabitants.

The only school in the village was in a very advanced state of disrepair, with a building with three classrooms that were completely disfigured. The harsh living conditions of the people of Darakokaha were exacerbated by the frequent breakdowns of the village water pumps (4 pumps out of 7 available).

 

In 2010, the UNDP project “Rehabilitation of community infrastructure in Darakokaha under the prefecture of Fronan” set about the task, with two major objectives: the rehabilitation of community infrastructure and the creation of income-generating activities. The project, which was aimed at a target population of 2,000 people, had an overall cost of USD 90375.13, with a UNDP grant of USD 88875.13 (98.4%) and an almost symbolic contribution of USD 1,500 (1.6%) from the population.

 

A breath of fresh air for the population

The UNDP has thus contributed to rehabilitating community infrastructure (water retention basin, school, borehole), revitalising agriculture and livestock farming, improving the income of the village population, particularly women’s groups, and enhancing social cohesion.

 

With the help of the villagers, UNDP has worked to rehabilitate the water reservoir (spillway and dam), restore the school, repair the teachers’ accommodation, build tables and benches and construct a school canteen. Two boreholes have been repaired, allowing the women of Darakokaha to stop walking several kilometres to fetch water, as testified by Awa Coulibaly, a resident of this village.

 

AGR and training on the menu

 

The UNDP has also focused on the training of the borehole management committee and the acquisition of small-scale farming and livestock equipment. To this end, priority was given to training thirty (30) members of the groups, fifty (50) producers in cultivation and livestock techniques, and group members in cooperative management and simplified accounting. UNDP’s action has also enabled the acquisition of two pairs of harnessed crop oxen and harnessing equipment (BCA), and the construction of three night yards (ox yards).

In addition, in this region where the illiteracy rate remains one of the highest, the project has targeted functional literacy, from which more than 100 villagers have benefited, as well as the establishment of a support system through training and coaching to groups, and the installation of Village Development Committees (VDCs), within a framework of inter-community exchanges that have greatly facilitated social cohesion in the context of the post-crisis recovery prevailing in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

UNDP, a reliable partner in sustainable development

 

This project is a major action to fight poverty, after the crisis that ravaged Côte d’Ivoire, and in particular the north of the country, for nearly ten years. According to Mr. Coulibaly Mory Celestin: “Thanks to this project financed by the UNDP, the people of Darakokaho are living better.

 

Social cohesion has been re-established between farmers and herders, giving new meaning to the social and community dynamics in Darakokaha. The training provided to project beneficiaries has strengthened their capacities in management and farming techniques, among other things. An evaluation has shown that the health of the village’s inhabitants has improved, and they no longer suffer from water-borne diseases such as dysentery, diarrhoea and cholera. The sub-prefect of Fronan was pleased with the ownership of the project by the villagers and the actions that are being taken to replicate it in other localities in Côte d’Ivoire.

Youssouf Diarra

 Credits photo  : Youssouf Diarra/PNUD

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