Dates / Project duration
October 2020 - September 2023 / 3 years
Development of energy efficiency and renewable energies
The availability of renewable electricity promotes health, education, economic growth and conservation of natural resources, and helps to combat climate change and pollution. It is also a factor to women’s empowerment, particularly in rural areas. Access to electricity allows them to significantly reduce the amount of time they spend each day on survival activities (collecting firewood and water, cooking, harvesting by hand, etc.) and turn to additional income generating activities. These are often farming activities; in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that women are responsible for 60–70% of the sector’s output.
In Senegal, the use of mechanisation and an energy supply for farming activities is rare (only two out of every ten people have access to electricity in rural areas), and this limits their economic significance. An example is market gardening in the Ziguinchor region, one of the country’s main agricultural basins, where 80% of the active population works in the primary sector.
The sustained decline in rainfall in this region helped to stimulate market gardening as a supplement to rice growing in the 1970s. While it was intended for local consumption, market gardening has become an increasing source of revenue for rural populations, especially women. It generates additional income for their families and leaves them less vulnerable to inequality.
Due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure, however, the potential of market gardening in Ziguinchor is still largely under-exploited. This represents a loss for the women of the region, who are often living in precarious circumstances.
The EGALES project seeks to improve human and economic development conditions for female market gardeners in the commune of Ouonck by developing solar energy and optimising water use in an environmentally friendly way.
The project is based on three specific objectives:
- Make sustainable improvements to working conditions and income for 600 women through the use of solar pump systems with drip irrigation and organising training sessions on agricultural planning and production.
- Ensure the sustainability of infrastructure by involving local operators, who are responsible for collecting fees for maintenance and replacing components.
- Create the conditions that will enable a change in the scale of the project by trialling the involvement of women in investment and studying the feasibility of alternative ways of financing equipment.