Harnessing the Potential of Groundwater to Enhance Pastoral Productivity in the Sahel
Posted in : Latest on 15 November 2023
Pastoralism is a major economic and livelihood pillar in the Sahel region, where more than 20 million people rear livestock to support their families. The livestock sector contributes 15 percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), but pastoralists are extremely vulnerable to climate uncertainty and water scarcity because of their itinerant lifestyle and the arid and hyper-arid climate. Groundwater is often the only available water source because rainfall is rare and highly variable, and rivers are concentrated further south in the Sahelian-Sudanian agricultural region.
Groundwater’s diffuse yet hidden presence under the ground has left it largely undervalued and untapped despite its huge potential to sustain pastoral livelihoods and provide multiple benefits.