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Sauri, Kenya
Koraro, Ethiopia
Pampaida, Nigeria
Bonsaaso, Ghana
Mayange, Rwanda
Mwandama, Malawi
Potou, Senegal
Tiby, Mali
Mbola, Tanzania
Ruhiira, Uganda
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Potou, Senegal

Potou Cluster: 6 Millennium Villages | 31,000 residents

Potou is located in the Niayes zone of Senegal, bordering the maritime fringe of the north of the country. It represents the coastal-artisanal fishing farming system, where the majority of the inhabitants practice agriculture, livestock production and fishing. The Niayes is a fragile area under tremendous strain. The use of chemicals and organic inputs remains an inappropriate solution for the area because of its effects on the environment, especially the groundwater, and public health. Inadequate management of household refuse and domestic and industrial effluents poses important problems and exposes the population to medical risks. The mineral and organic manures used in the area contribute to the pollution of the ground water of quaternary sands by nitrates, which can create various pathologies in animals and people. Beyond the problems raised by the fertilizers, pesticides also have negative consequences on the Niayes farming system. The risks of pollution by pesticides are great, in particular by the persistent ones, which represent 10% of the pesticides used in the region.

Village Characteristics by Sector

Food insecurity is prevalent in the area: 20% of children under five are malnourished. Soil fertility is declining due to intensive agricultural production, minimal use of fertilizers, shortening of fallow usage and deforestation. In intensive horticultural production fields soil salinization is increasing due to inappropriate water management. Artisanal fishing is important but unregulated and lacks technical improvements.

The education challenges facing the Potou cluster are many. There is only one primary school comprised of 12 classrooms and one secondary school located in Léona (7 km away) for the entire community. Non-protected provisional shelters are used in place of actual classrooms. These shelters lack latrines, running water, school materials and supplies and classroom furniture. Only 51 percent of boys and 39.5 percent of girls go to school.

Diseases such as malaria, respiratory illnesses, skin problems and diarrhea are prevalent in the community. The nearest health center is located in Léona, 7 km away from the Potou research village. Accessing the center is a significant and arduous burden for the villagers, with barely visible and inadequate roads covered by sandy dunes.

Only 20 percent of the cluster has access to safe water. There is a major need for hydraulic equipment and an expansion of the current network through the creation of additional water tower and wells.

Intervention Highlights

Important business developments such as training villagers in fish processing are helping to generate income, particularly near the seaside. A village vehicle is helping to transport crops and goods to markets as well as to provide needed access to healthcare facilities. The building of schools and the start of a school feeding program are helping to get more kids in school and improve performance. Gender sensitizing among teachers is helping to ensure that girls are treated more equitably in school.

Agriculture: Increase crop yields and decrease hunger
The project introduced improved onion and cabbage seeds which helped to increase commercial horticulture production. The CPLA (Local Councils for Artisinal Fishing) was set up and conducted a thorough analysis of the fishing producers
Education: Increase enrollment and improve quality
Six classrooms and six blocks of latrines have been constructed, which have improved the working conditions for teachers and students. School furniture, supplies and a database have also been supplied by the project, all of which are significantly helping the quality of education.
Gender Empowerment
The Nike Foundation's program in Potou, directed by AWOMI, stresses the participation of young women and girls in the achievement of the MDGs. By working with a gender advisor hired by AWOMI, the capacities of women and girls are being reinforced the in the Villages and gender issues are being integrated into the core interventions. Things like credit support, training in economic and financial management, and scholarships for young women are all being rolled out through this program.