The result of a joint initiative by Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad, PARIIS is supported by ECOWAS, UEMOA and the World Bank to the tune of $170 million.
It aims to strengthen the capacity of member countries to develop and manage irrigation, as well as to increase irrigated areas using a regional approach based on solutions in each country of the Sahel.
This project is the implementation of a declaration adopted in Dakar in 2013 by the governments of the six countries and their partners, to give a new impetus to agriculture in the Sahel and priority in economy policy and social development to achieve food self-sufficiency.
In Mauritania, PARIIS will allow developing 10,000 ha in irrigated and rain-fed crops and the construction of dikes for the storage of surface water, said the Mauritanian Minister of Agriculture, Lemina Mint El Ghotob Ould Moma.
These activities will be completed with funding from Mauritania and the World Bank costing $30 million, she said at the opening of the meeting.
Speaking on the same occasion, the Director of the Sahel Institute, Mauritanian Mohamed Abdallahi Ould Babah, highlighted the peculiarities of the CILSS zone, symbolized by the fact that its inhabitants live mostly from agriculture and breeding that are strongly related to climatic conditions.
The Head of the World Bank’s Water Department for West Africa explained that the regional character of the project is justified by the strong will of cooperation of the Sahel countries.
It is cooperation that should improve the performance of the irrigation sector, he added.