Fatoumata Dienta looks proudly at the new grove of young acacia trees that she and her friends have just planted. Soon the flood will come, and all these trees will disappear under the water. That will be good: they will serve as a breeding ground for hundreds of fish. Some will swim all the way down the River Niger to its mouth in Nigeria. But many of them will end up in the nets of fisherfolk – and on the dinner plates of families here in Akka village, in the Inner Niger Delta of Mali.
The trees were planted through the implementation of the BioRights approach, developed by Wetlands International. The women’s group of Mrs. Dienta was provided with micro-credits, but instead of paying interest the women had to plant Acacia trees.
If after a year 75% of the trees are still intact, the micro-credit becomes a grant. The return rate of the micro-credit in the project with women was 100%; many women’s groups now use the money as a revolving fund in the village.
Read more stories from the field in our publication:
Planting Trees to Eat Fish
Field Experiences in Wetlands and Poverty Reduction