Niger: positive outcome for the pilot phase of the Irhazer-Tamesna project

June 12, 2015

On Wednesday 22 April, the feedback meeting for the Irhazer-Tamesna* pilot project financed by AREVA was held in Agadez. This agro-pastoral project located in North Niger aims to reinforce the country's security of food resources by developing irrigation systems in desert lands.

The meeting brought together project stakeholders, namely representatives of local and national bodies, producers and members of civil society, along with AREVA representatives.

The auditors responsible for the assessment provided a positive evaluation of the project, focusing on the actions completed and the targets reached. The auditors concluded that we could now look ahead with confidence to the project development phase and propose a program of actions along 4 paths: development of small-scale community irrigation, private irrigation, semi-intensive livestock production and the transformation & commercialization of agricultural and pastoral products.

A fruitful debate between participants followed the presentation. The discussion confirmed the satisfaction of local populations in the consideration of their priority needs, in particular the delivery of quality products at low cost. The stakeholders thanked the project team and AREVA for the results achieved in just two years of activity. The role of the Irhazer-Tamesna project in continuing to create jobs in the region was also highlighted.

Participants recommended focusing on solar power as an energy source in the next development phase, in particular for pumping water.

Lastly, they asked the national government and the AREVA Group to speed up the signature of the agreement to enable this project development phase to get under way as soon as possible. A rapid decision will enable consolidation of the lessons learned in the pilot phase and above all, to roll out the activities to other identified sites.

*The whole pilot project only represents the preliminary phase of a large, 5000-hectare development program for the Irhazer valley and the Tamesna plain, which will benefit over 2000 homes involved in producer organizations.