Mali, West Africa

Sahel Eco (formerly the SOS Sahel UK programme in Mali from 1989 to 2003) was established in 2004 and works with the people of Mali to reduce their poverty through better management of the environment. It operates at three levels:

  1. Supporting pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and farming communities to develop and strengthen sustainable strategies for poverty reduction, focusing on the equitable and sustainable management of the natural resources on which their livelihoods depend.
  2. Supporting decentralised local government structures and civil society organisations to promote the specific interests of people living in arid and semi-arid zones.
  3. Working in collaboration with government bodies, donors and development organisations to develop and put into practice pro-poor policy.

In Mopti region, Sahel Eco is working with other local NGOs to promote pastoralists' participation in decentralised government through civic education, literacy, awareness-raising amongst local government officials and research. Within the Bankass district, it is helping local associations and district councils in the twelve communes to jointly manage their natural resources, including livestock corridors, the Samori forest and the agroforestry parklands of the Seno plain. Sahel Eco enables communities to improve their water supply by providing training and support to dig large diameter concrete-lined wells. 

Video: watch this 15 minute film on how the farmers in Horé Guendé and Endé villages, Mopti region, are managing the natural regeneration of trees on their land.

In the district of Tominian, Ségou region, Sahel Eco works with communities living in and around the Duwa and Sutebwo forests to promote sustainable use of the forest resources and develop small businesses based on non timber forest products. These include shea butter, honey and a wide variety of wild fruits. It also strengthens the capacity of the Tominian Union of Farmers Associations and the Farakunna and Hirosin farmer cooperatives, enabling hundreds of poor people to access loans, acquire tools and improved seeds, develop small scale agri-businesses and improve their food security through increased productivity and profit.

Sahel Eco's programmes include:

  • Secretariat to the Global Water Initiative, West Africa cluster
  • Mali Village Tree Enterprise Project in collaboration with Tree Aid and FAO.
  • Bankass Trees for Change Project, in collaboration with Tree Aid
  • Mopti Trees outside the Forest, in collaboration with International Tree Foundation
  • Capacity for local partners of World Vision, International Fertilizer Development Corporation and BothEnds
Sahel Eco is a founding member of Fifth Region Decentralised Natural Resource Management (NRM) network (called ‘GDRN5'), which is widely recognised as an effective NGO lobbying network on NRM. UN Human Development Index
Ranking: 175 out of 187
Life Expectancy: 51.4 yrs (2011)
People without access to improved water: 44% (2008)
Adult literacy rate: 26.2% (2008)
(over 15)
School enrolment: 44.83% (2009)
(estimate: primary, secondary & tertiary)
Registered Charity No.296311 Company Limited by Guarantee No. 2100867