26 February 2013

Desertification, One Of The Major Problems Of Africa, Will Be Discussed In Dakar

Desertification, One Of The Major Problems Of Africa, Will Be Discussed In Dakar

The Second International Workshop of ‘Building landscapes resilient to global changes in dry lands: the guidelines’ continues, held in Dakar with the contributions of Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and General Directorate for Combating Desertification and Erosion.

Attended by experts and scholars from 30 countries – mainly from Africa – the workshop held on 25-28 February 2013 examines the fight against desertification; one of the major problems in Africa.

Prepared by Turkey, the economic and technical cooperation package for the least developed countries were announced at The Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries convened in Istanbul in 2011. As part of this, institutions and organizations are invited to take action and allocate the necessary resources for the implementation of the projects proposed.

In this context, holding an international workshop in Dakar was decided on to discuss the measures to be taken in the name of preventing desertification in sub-Saharan Africa within the framework of “Building landscapes resilient to global changes in dry lands: the guidelines” prepared by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of UN). The first of the workshops, which was held in Dakar for a second time this year, took place in Konya last year. Among the objectives of the workshop, organized with the contributions of TIKA and the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, General Directorate for Combating Desertification and Erosion, are;

• Development and approval of the draft text of “Building landscapes resilient to global changes in dry lands: the guidelines”,
• Supporting the integration of the aforementioned guide on “Great Green Wall”,
• Establishing a network to share knowledge and experience regarding the improvement of dry lands.

The workshop is attended by 120 people consisting of experts and academics from 30 countries, the Food and Agriculture Organization, relevant agencies and ministries from Senegal, the General Directorate for Combating Desertification and Erosion and TIKA. Deputy Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Senegal Haidar El Ali thanked all organizations that contributed to the workshop, and TIKA and FAO in particular, in his speech at the opening ceremony. Expressing that the dry land studies shall be a guide for all countries facing the problem of desertification and deforestation, Haidar El Ali further commented that this study will contribute to the protection and growth of the African Sahara Green Wall. Following the opening, a TIKA authority, who contributed to the organization of the workshop, stated that as an institution they have carried out projects in many parts of the world and particularly in Africa. He said they have executed many projects both in theory and practice for the development of Africa in particular and that they were pleased to support this workshop. Also a photo exhibition titled “TIKA in Africa” was opened at the hotel where the workshop took place. The participant thus had the opportunity to closely examine TIKA’s operations in various countries of Africa.

Workshop Program and Activities

The workshop currently in progress at the King Fahd Palace hotel will be followed by a two-day field study and field surveys after a long day of meetings and sessions. Delegation of experts and academics who participated in the workshop will pay research and study visits to the northern and eastern parts of Senegal where desertification occurs, on February 26 to 27. Then the final declaration of the result of the meetings will be made at the last day of the workshop.
The operations launched in 2002, under the leadership of the African Union, to prevent the expansion of Sahara desert over the green and fertile lands towards the south, led to the establishing of the African Great Green Wall Agency (GGWA) during the conference in 2007 in Addis Ababa. The aim of this initiative is to prevent the desertification of a line seven thousand kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide from Dakar to Djibouti and to keep the fertile land in the south away from the influence of the desert. This agency consisting of 11 Sahel-Sahara countries (Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, and Chad) has an office in Dakar.

TIKA’s other projects in Senegal
TIKA opened a Program Coordination office in Dakar on April 2007 following Addis Ababa and Khartoum.

A Military Orphanage Vocational Training and Development Center, which operates to improve the living standards of families below the poverty line in Senegal, received equipment support from TIKA.

Furnishings for the 4 rooms built in 2005 were provided in Ker XALE Psychiatry Unit, which was the only unit operation on child psychiatry until 2006 and still is the center for studies in the same field at a national level.

Medico-Social Center Construction for Cheikh Anta Diop University Project was executed under TIKA’s lead in Dakar, Senegal in 2010.

• Hardware support Senegal Saint-Louis Lieutenant Mamadou Hospital

Equipment and supplies were provided to Senegal Asadcor Women’s Associations. Female patients living in Saint Louis, Senegal, had to refer to hospitals in Dakar due to lack of mammography devices in the regional hospital which caused delays in diagnosis and treatment processes. A mammography device procured from Turkey was installed and maintenance and repairs of idle electronic equipment in the hospital were carried out. Also the hospital staff received training for a week in the use and maintenance of the electronic devices available in the hospital.

• Equipment and Material Support to Asadcor Rural Community Development Association

2 grain mills, 10 sewing machines, five embroidery machines and a variety of haberdashery materials were donated to the Senegal Rural Community Development Association in Asadcor with TIKA’s support.

Also the purchasing office supplies of a 100 square meter center that was deemed appropriate to be constructed by TIKA, were postponed due to the obstacles in allocating an appropriate construction site.

• Institute of Social Pediatrics, Pikine Division Women’s and Children’s Health Center Construction

A research center where midwives and community medicine department students from neighboring countries such as Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Guinea, The Gambia as well as Senegal will be offered internship opportunities in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and child health, was built by TIKA at the Institute of Social Pediatrics Which has been operating since 1964. The project mentioned above eliminated the necessity to go to the city center from Pikine, where the most populous and poorest segment of Dakar resides, for health issues.

• Municipality of Kaolack Environmental Cleanup Project Support

As part of of building environmental awareness in the Municipality of Kaolack and a sanitation project, 100 Waste containers, 200 wheelbarrows, 400 shovels, 400 forks, 200 vacuum cleaners and other cleaning tools were provided by TIKA and delivered to the municipal authorities.

• Preschool for Senegalese Children by TIKA

A kindergarten with a capacity of 120 students was built by TIKA in Tivaouane Senegal. The school was handed over to the Senegalese managers at a ceremony.

• Other education support activities

An Education Center with four classes was built with TIKA’s support on land given by the municipality, in the city of Ziguinchor located in the Casamance region between Guinea-Bissau and Gambia. In addition, the reconstruction of the mosque located next to the education center was carried out by TIKA.

Being the first and only project of Turkey in the region, the education center aims to provide primary and secondary school curriculum depending on the ministry of education, and religious instruction for adults.

• TIKA Support to the Refugee Camp

Humanitarian supplies sent by the TIKA Programme Coordination Office in Dakar caused celebration among the three thousand Côte d’Ivoire citizens, who struggle for survival in Koankan refugee camp in Guinea Conakry due to internal conflicts in their homeland.

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