A vast and to a large extent desert territory in the heart of West Africa, Niger is subject to the vicissitudes of drought so characteristic of the Sahel region. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with an economy based on food cropping and herding. One third of the population has no access to drinking water and 90% have no basic sanitation. The great majority of people live in rural areas with no connection to the electricity grid, a constraint which forces women to rely on just two sources of energy: their own physical strength and wood fuel. These sources are clearly too limited to meet the productivity needs of day-to-day activities. Moreover, the growing demand for wood and farmland is causing deforestation: one third of the forest area has been lost in just 20 years.
GERES in Niger
GERES worked until 2009 to improve access to rural energy, primarily through the development of post-harvest millet processing. This cereal is the main food crop and a staple food in the countryside. Mechanized cultivation and processing is almost non-existent. As a result, manual threshing of millet represents a substantial daily workload mainly shouldered by women. GERES focused its efforts on Dosso region and aims to organize a mechanized millet threshing service.
GERES is no longer conducting projects in Niger.