Building Resilience for Communities in the Sahel

CNFA initiatives seek to build resilience among smallholder communities by using the program elements of each project not only to produce agricultural benefits—but also to improve or create other community assets that support resilient societies, such as healthcare, education and government services.

Across the Sahel in Niger and Burkina Faso, for example, the USAID Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel–Accelerated Growth (REGIS-AG) program developed 25 livestock market management committees (10 in Burkina Faso and 15 in Niger) to help communities tap into the organizational power of the livestock markets that serve as critical commercial hubs where producers, traders, buyers and sellers trade livestock, feed and other goods.

With support from REGIS-AG, these committees—consisting of transporters, traders of cattle and small ruminants, and vendors—now help municipalities manage important market services such as tax collection, infrastructure maintenance, sanitation and market security.

As a result of these efforts, these committees also have contributed to community revenues and improved the local governments’ capacity to extend investments outside of the local market. In the Guidan Roumdji village in the Maradi region of Niger, for example, the increase in tax revenues collected as a result of the committee provided the local government with an extra 7,731,129 FCFA ($14,317 USD) to contribute to major investments in the community. In another three markets across Niger, collected tax revenue increased more than 135%. Moreover, many municipalities like Guidan Roumdji now have gained the ability to offer social services for the wider community—including healthcare clinics and educational facilities—services that often are limited for the countries’ rural populations.