Center for African Area Studies , Kyoto University
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Main Reserch Projects

The Implementation of Anti-Desertification Measures using Raw Garbage from Cities in the Republic of Niger (Sahel Area, Western Africa)
Research Representative: Shuichi Oyama, Associate Professor
Overview: The problem of desertification (land degradation) is serious in the Republic of Niger, which is located on the southern margin of the Sahara Desert. With increased desertification, people are concerned about a decrease in agricultural productivity and people’s standard of living, the spread of poverty, and the financial collapse of the state. Thus, people’s lives and livelihoods in many areas are threatened. In this project, by clarifying the environmental knowledge relating to desertification and the ecological knowledge relating to the greening of degraded lands inhabited by the agricultural Hausa people who live in the southern and central parts of Nigeria, we aim to formulate theories regarding the cause of desertification as well as contribute to its resolution and “human security.”

In previous surveys, it became clear that the Hausa people transport garbage from residential areas to fields, aiming to improve the fertility of the soil and the agricultural productivity of degraded lands. However, with the emergence of a market-oriented economy, the economic activities in farming villages have become energized and people actively sell farm and livestock products to markets. Therefore, a situation has arisen in which the amount of organic materials circulating within farming societies is decreasing. On the other hand, in the Niger capital Niamey, the population is rapidly increasing, and residents are consuming large amounts of farm and livestock products. Since this trash is being disposed of within the city, unsanitary conditions have arisen, and during the rainy season infectious diseases such as cholera and typhoid reach epidemic proportions. An unbalanced situation is arising: while on the one hand, in farming village areas the amount of organic matter is decreasing and desertification, which reduces the land’s productive capacity, is occurring, on the other hand, in city areas organic matter (trash) is accumulating, leading to unsanitary conditions.

As part of this project, we have established an NGO “OLDCS-shara” (The Desertification Prevention and Urban Sanitation Improvement Project), and are moving forward with a plan to distribute city garbage to degraded land in farming village areas. Through this plan, along with attempting to solve the desertification problem, we are aiming to ensure food self-sufficiency in farming villages (“freedom from want of food”) and improve the sanitation in cities (“freedom from fear of infectious diseases”), and would like to contribute to “human security” in the Sahel area.

Project Report from Assoumana Abdou, JICA Niger (2017 Sep,)

Project Report from Assoumana Abdou, JICA Niger (2017 Sep,)