|SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 62 (CTA Spore, 1996, 16 p.)|
PRECONS (Programme regional de reboisement et de conservation des sols au Sahel - The Regional Programme for Reforestation and Soil Conservation in the Sahel) is responsible for strengthening regional cooperation within the Sahel for soil and water conservation. The work, which is carried out under the auspices of the Permanent International Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) has been continuing for five years and is based on experience gained in Cape Verde.
The first phase of the programme was launched when it was felt that there was a suitable level of technical competence available within the services responsible. At the same time public awareness and regional cooperation were such that the programme had a good chance of success. A tree-planting scheme was carried out on 4,700 hectares on three islands of Cape Verde. The first phase, which used anti-soil erosion techniques already proven to be effective in the islands, provided the practical experience for a second phase. This was aimed at transferring soil and water conservation techniques to other countries in the Sahel region. The second phase included the training of 350 officers at a number of courses organized in Cape Verde and in all other CILSS member countries (except Niger), and the production of training and information publications as well as a manual and thirty technical leaflets.
Research shows that a poor level of commitment and participation by rural people can be explained only in part by cultural attitudes and a low level of literacy. The way in which intervention policies are handled, the nature of the relationship between people and institutions, and the appropriateness or otherwise of teaching methods, also have a bearing. It was with this in mind that PRECONS designed its information materials (posters, booklets etc.) and its manual on rural development. The manual, which was published in 1994, is designed for development workers and provides a practical look at all the situations that they may have to cover, including:
· planning a programme of intervention
· preparations for carrying out the programme
· organizing work sessions
· promoting complementary activities
· preparing an evaluation at the end of the programme, and
· establishing follow-up procedures once the programme is complete.
The manual does not pretend to be a definitive work on the subject. It attempts to make a contribution to education within the context of the Sahel and any suggestions for making it more appropriate to Sahelian conditions would be welcomed.
BenoDelaite et Mario
Project PRECONS c/o Delegation UF
CP 122, Praia
CAPE VERDE or Project PRECONS c/o CILSS, 03 BP 7049, Ouagadougou 03, BURKINA FASO