Mama Tahé, Mali

Mama Tahé nearby the solar driven water tank and  pump that provides the garden with water. 

Photo: Africa Interactive


The Inner Delta of River Niger project

Updated: 5 October 2015

The Inner Delta of River Niger of Mali  is the second largest inland wetland in Africa after the Okavango delta in Botswana. It is a major centre of diversification of all kinds of local plant species with great socio-economic value. The delta suffers from severe environmental stress. Most important is the variations in the water regime, partly caused by climate variability and partly by upstream use of water. The other main environmental problem in the delta is the degradation of land through unsustainable use of forest lands, severe deforestation and erosion. Climate change has had extensive and profound impacts on water resources and hydrological systems in Mali. The forest area in Mali is being reduced by 0.8% per year, which is one of the highest deforestation rates in West Africa 

The purpose with the intervention

The overall objective of the programme is to improve the socio- economic conditions in terms of food and livelihood security for poor rural small scale farmers in the delta of the Inner Niger river. The intention is to enhance the resilience of the targeted population by raising awareness on integrated natural resource management including root causes of climate change, its implications and adaptive measures. It also take account of the challenges related to designing agricultural landscapes schemes (Watershed management approach), maintain forest´s ecosystem benefits such as water storage, erosion control, biodiversity conservation and soil rehabilitation as well as sustainable food production as response to climate change. The planned income generating activities linked to agriculture, animal rearing and forests have the purpose to further diversify the sources of income and enhance the purchasing power of the most vulnerable population of the Delta.

What we intend to achieve

  • Implement climate change adaptive measures 
  • Design agricultural landscapes schemes (Watershed management approach)
  • Income generating activities linked to agriculture, animal rearing and forests are taking place
  • Women and young girls benefitting from income generating activities

With whom we cooperate

The main agreement partner is the Ministry of Environment in Mali. The National Forests Directorate (DNEF) is acting under the Ministry and is responsible of the daily operations. A national steering committee chaired by the Minister includes representatives from line ministries, local authorities, the Authority of the Niger Basin (ABN), private sector and NGOs. Representatives of the regional women's associations are also represented. It acts as a policy coordination unit with the mandate to encourage and facilitate communication and networking between the various water and wetlands management partners, projects, civil society and research organisations in Mali.

For how long 

The Programme is supported by Sweden from October 2013 to June 2016 with the possibility of extension phases. 

With how much money

The total Swedish financial contribution is 47 200 000 SEK.

Main results achieved

Results are achieved in the context of food and climate crisis in Mali amplified by the political crisis. The project has been able to mobilize the beneficiaries through women's participatory approaches/tools. The project has also built sustainable infrastructures namely boreholes, water tanks and water pumps actioned by solar energy. The project interventions have increased women's economic means and social and nutritional status through vegetable production. The project interventions since 2013 have increased rural women's self-confidence through the processing of high value products on the market. The revenues gained by the women have further increased their purchasing power.  The use of solar dryers has also improved the quality of food products and their availability for the use of the communities. This has reduced the expected physical workload of women in the vegetable production, products processing and marketing processes.


  • A follow-up of the 11 market gardens realised in 2014 which are equipped with boreholes, water tanks, solar panels etc for 11 women groups in three administrative regions (Segou, Mopti and Timbuctu)
  • The establishment of 8 new gardens which are equipped with boreholes, water tanks, solar panels etc for 8 women groups in three administrative regions (Segou, Mopti and Timbuctu)
  • The construction of 8 storages and 2 latrines for 8 women groups
  • The promotion of income generation activities to the benefit of 1650 women
  • Elaboration of 4 management plans for 4 flooded forests
  • 190 women of 19 women's associations trained on soap preparation, beekeeping, poultry and animal fattening.
  • A global steering organ created during 2014 at the regional level with the mandate to steer all field related activities has been made functional
  • Application of the communication strategy worked out during the first semester of 2014 in order to mainstream the importance of biodiversity conversation in the delta
  • Continued application of an overall institutional management scheme worked out by the Programme
  • Participation of the programme to the 2015 environmental weeks held in Sikasso in order to sensitize deciders and the public at large on the importance of flooded areas

Page owner: Department for Africa

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