Building Resilience

Burkina Faso and Niger: USAID Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER)

Project Profile

Regis-er

USAID defines resilience as the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.

In the broader context, USAID investments in resilience seek to address the root causes of this chronic vulnerability through nutrition-led agriculture and livestock rearing, better health and hygiene, stronger governance and natural resource management, and awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation to them.

at a glance:

November 2013 - December 2019

funded by:
USAID
$70,000,000

Targets:

Hectares under improved management:
60,000

People with increased resiliency to climate change:
100,000

Children with improved nutrition:
210,000

Project Profile

Regis-er

USAID defines resilience as the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.

In the broader context, USAID investments in resilience seek to address the root causes of this chronic vulnerability through nutrition-led agriculture and livestock rearing, better health and hygiene, stronger governance and natural resource management, and awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation to them.

The Albarka Womens Group meets outside their bio-reclamation land plot

REGIS-ER contains three principal components:

  • Sustainable livelihoods
    Diversifying economic opportunities, through agricultural and animal production and marketing, access to financial services
  • Strengthened governance
    Regional capacity building, planning, natural resource management and land use, disaster and conflict risk management
  • Improved health and nutrition
    Access to potable water, capacity development of community health workers, training for nutritious local food consumption and gardening, behavior change communications for health actions, and latrine and well construction

Impact: The Oasis Garden

Djamilla Modi with the goats she received through the women’s group, building assets.

Albarka. It means “blessed” in both Hausa and Zarma, the local languages in this village. The group of 54 women who tend the garden in Igeufane, South Tillaberi, Niger gave themselves this name. The garden has its own name, the Oasis Garden. Blessed and oasis, two terms Niger needs to hear more often. Before the Oasis Garden in Igeufane, Rabi Ousmane used to weave tangaras, or straw mats, to sell in the market, but this hardly brought in any income. She struggled to meet her needs.

 

“Now we can take care of our own needs and we can even take care of others’ needs,” said Ousame. On a day before we spoke, she had sold 5,500 CFA, or about $9.40 USD, of moringa from the garden, which is high in nutrients and can be cooked like spinach or sold as beans. That was split into profits for her, and 10 percent went back to the women’s group garden fund for continued reinvestment.

 

“With the profit, I buy sugar, milk, oil, peanut butter and onions… REGIS-ER brought us change. Everyone has moringa. We can eat; we can meet our needs,” Ousame said.

 

The garden was also used as an example of bio-reclamation of degraded lands (BDL), a way of farming that works proactively to secure the land against the negative impacts of climate change rather than reacting to these disasters too late. One way is to build up rock terraces to keep the water on the field rather than washing away the top soil. As the land became healthier, the women moved from just planting moringa into planting a wide array of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, carrots and okra depending on the season.

 

Reinvesting the Oasis Garden sales not only gives the community access to more local produce, but helps the women become more economically resilient as well. The Albarka women have more options for earning and sales, by planting a variety of foods, which also improves local nutrition. Resiliency means working at all levels, for individuals and for the community.

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