Securing the mobility of pastoralism through consultation and access to water sources [Chad]

Projet Almy Al Afia

technologies_3356 - Chad

Completeness: 90%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:

Bernard BONNET



1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?



Degradation of natural resources is taken into account in the management of water resources for pastoral land, and in the social approach prior to the development of the technology. For example, the locations of new sites for water supply structures should correspond to the capacity of the grazing land in terms of the period of access, the quantity of available resources and the integration of the area into a larger coherent landscape (especially the complementary relationship between the agropastoral zones in the south and the pastoral zones in the north). Several impact assessments and preliminary analyses have been carried out, including diagnoses of the pastoralist system with regard to the logistics of the movements of the herds, the social organisation related to the management of the areas, diagnoses of the grasslands, geophysical analyses, etc.

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Securing the mobility of pastoralism through access to water sources (open wells and ponds in pastoral areas) and marking the livestock routes for transhumance: the case of the project Almy Al Afia in Chad and its consultative approach.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Livestock keeping is one of the main economic resources in Chad (in support of 40% of the population and 18% of the GDP, Ministry of Livestock, General census). Pastoralism in the country is based on the mobility of herds in a context of irregular precipitation and variable forage resources in time and space, and benefits from complementary relationships between the different ecological zones. In Chad, herds are taken in regular movements with the seasons between the Sahelian and the Sudanese grazing areas. The former are nutritious but limited in quantity, while the latter are more abundant but of lower quality, and not accessible until the fields are cleared after the harvest (meta-evaluation of projects on pastoral water sources, IIED, 2013). Thus, pastoral livestock keeping is founded on mobility and rangeland management, and on building complementary relationships and trade around farming systems and cultivated areas. The pastoralist systems are economically competitive (limited use of food inputs), and occur in marginal land which is characterized by conflicts, riots and a high level of insecurity (Conference of N'Djamena: 'Pastoral livestock keeping: a sustainable contribution to development and security in Saharan and Sahelian regions'). In the pastoral zone of Chad, where access to water is limited, the management and control of water sources by a social group in practice also leads to the monitoring and control of the use of grazing land which becomes available when water is present.

The project Almy Al Afia (2004-2016), developed by a partnership between the AFD and the Ministry of Water of Chad, operated in two regions of central Chad. The project Almy Al Afia was based on an entry 'development', concurrently with a process to consult and involve joint agencies. The project has improved approaches of preceding initiatives: concerted action and identification of water sources derived from the dialogue between users and authorities, and development of the local management of infrastructures and rangeland. The latter counteracts an exclusively private management or, instead, an ineffective public management which promotes free access to water sources and grazing land.

The project has enabled to address the following points:
1. Support mobility in pastoralism by enhancing the access to water (rehabilitation and construction of 160 wells; digging of 31 ponds for pastoral use);
2. Maintain or build processes of consultation and restoring security (joint committees for consultation and prevention of conflicts during transhumance);
3. Promote the proper use of water supply structures, in time and space (rehabilitated and new wells, excavated ponds) by context-specific management (strengthening of traditional management systems) and encourage the maintenance of infrastructure.
The pastoral ponds should be constructed in locations of existing water sources (natural ponds in suitable places, i.e. with a clayey soil capable to retain water). The existing water source is enlarged and improved by rural engineering (enlargement of the surface, deepening).
The wells are rehabilitated. Most wells were constructed several decades ago and are severely damaged. The water supply structures all have different and complementary functions. The deep wells in the pastoral zone are generally used throughout the year, and are overexploited. The way in which these structures are managed is strongly anchored in the region. The District officer delegates the management to 'Heads of Wells'. These old wells, which are used day and night, are often in a poor condition. Rehabilitating degraded wells is given priority over digging new wells because of the substantial potential for conflict. The water supply structures in areas of dry forest are less old and smaller in number. These wells are less frequently used and function as an alternative water source when the traditional ponds, water reservoirs and wells have dried up. They allow to delay the movement of the herds towards grazing areas in the Sahelian zone.
The strip between these two zones is used for agropastoralism. Herds cannot remain there. Therefore the project has facilitated the movement of the herds to the zones further south. The pastoral ponds close to the livestock routes for the transhumance were created in a way to be easily used by the herders, but also to encourage short stays.
The approach was combined with consultation through joint committees for the prevention of conflicts, and at a later stage by marking of sections of the livestock routes for the transhumance. Many meetings were held with the users of the land management structures and policy makers, with the aim to identify and negotiate the target sites and to anticipate methods for the management and maintenance of the structures. This has enabled to maintain an atmosphere of social stability conducive to cooperation. Along almost 550 km of the livestock routes for the transhumance, sections were marked ('mourhals' in Chadian Arabic). The demarcation was not intended to enclose the herds in the livestock corridors (from which they can move freely outside the growing seasons for agricultural crops), but rather to implement the results of the consultations on the land use on the ground. The committees for the prevention of conflicts, which were supported by the project, also played a major role.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.4 Videos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Regions of Batha and of Guéra

Further specification of location:

Although the sites where the technology was applied are at the local scale, the project has considered pastoralism and the relationships between the two regions at the broader landscape scale.

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 10-100 km2

Main towns of the two relevant regions (Ati for the region of Batha and Mongo for the region of Guéra).

The water sources constitute an anchorage point for the herds. The surrounding grazing land is controlled by the access to the water supply points (impact zone with a radius of 15 to 20 km around the wells). Apart from the area directly influenced by the technology, complementary relationships between the zones provide an added value: hence the zone targeted by the decision-making process of the herders is very large.

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation
  • as part of a traditional system (> 50 years)
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Projects on pastoral water resources like the project Almy Al Afia primarily focus on the development of water sources for pastoralism. The phases preceding the implementation are extremely important, because they are based on consultation and on the appreciation of local management systems. These phases include registration, selection of construction sites and the development of guidelines.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem
  • protect a watershed/ downstream areas – in combination with other Technologies
  • preserve/ improve biodiversity
  • reduce risk of disasters
  • create beneficial economic impact
  • create beneficial social impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Nomadism
  • Semi-nomadic pastoralism
Animal type:
  • camels

Number of growing seasons per year: 1
Livestock density: Variable depending on zones and seasons.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

In these zones, rainfall is erratic in terms of spatial distribution and in quantity. Hence, grazing areas are not uniformly covered from year to year. The mobility of herds is the only way to adapt to this variability.

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • pastoralism and grazing land management
  • ground water management

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S8: Sanitation/ waste water structures
management measures

management measures

  • M2: Change of management/ intensity level
  • M3: Layout according to natural and human environment

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
soil erosion by wind

soil erosion by wind

  • Et: loss of topsoil
  • Eo: offsite degradation effects
physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Ps: subsidence of organic soils, settling of soil
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
water degradation

water degradation

  • Hs: change in quantity of surface water
  • Hg: change in groundwater/aquifer level
  • Hp: decline of surface water quality
  • Hq: decline of groundwater quality

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The wells (new and rehabilitated) and the demarcation of the livestock routes are the outcome of a long process of outreach. The communications between the local level (taking account of the views of future users) and the level of decision-making (administration) enable social agreements to be formalized. These agreements set the rules for the selection of the locations of the water supply structures, their management and maintenance.


Project Almy Al Afia



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology unit
Specify unit:

Structure (new well, rehabilitation or km of markings)

other/ national currency (specify):


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

1000 FCFA

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Outreach / awareness raising Four to six meetings prior to the signing of the social agreements
2. Construction of the facilities Four to six months, depending on the type of structure and its depth
3. Monitoring the management Regular visits of the project team to support the implementation of adapted management practices

The implementation of the different phases varies greatly in terms of the location of the outreach activities and the duration of the construction work.

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Construction material Rehabilitated wells (mean depth 56 m) 1 93.0 10497939.0 976308327.0
Construction material Geophysical assessment for new wells 1 158.0 17979914.0 2840826412.0
Construction material Exploration drilling for new wells (mean depth 96 m) 1 220.0 6005415.0 1321191300.0
Construction material New wells (mean depth 45 m) 1 62.0 45145740.0 2799035880.0
Construction material Pastoral ponds (6000 m3 on average) 1 31.0 23008065.0 713250015.0
Construction material Markers (8 signs / km) 1 492.0 1069203.0 526047876.0
Other Outreach on new wells (/site) 1 62.0 213428.0 13232536.0
Other Outreach on rehabilitation (/site) 1 93.0 248695.0 23128635.0
Other Outreach on marking (/km) 1 492.0 52088.0 25627296.0
Other None None
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 9238648277.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 9238648277.0

The context of pastoralism has taken the project approach to not ask compensation from users: if the users are never the same, then who should be charged? Who will collect the payments and manage the collected funds? In addition, most of the water supply structures are far from financial institutions, which causes problems in securing these funds. Therefore the users contribute in terms of day-to-day maintenance of structures, by mobilizing labour in particular.

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Mobilising indigenous groups for day-to-day maintenance of structures (dredging, cleaning) Depending on the type of structure (generally monthly)

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Support missions for the management and maintenance of the water supply structures (2 missions per structure for the entire project) 1 155.0 53000.0 8215000.0
Labour Support mission for the management and maintenance of the markings 1 100.0 53000.0 5300000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 13515000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 13515000.0

The amount of financial support varied with the type of structure (more support for management and maintenance is needed for new structures than for rehabilitated structures) and with their location or specific problem (in the case of structures located in the agropastoral zones). Financial support to the markings of the livestock corridors was indirectly provided through the committees for the prevention and management of conflicts.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The costs of the constructions are highly dependent on their location (costs for the supply and disposal of equipment and materials), on the price of inputs (cement, etc.), and especially on the type of structure (depth of the wells, geological environment). The costs of the supply and disposal of equipment and materials include costs for the installation of the structures (water, cement, labour, machinery) on the construction sites (which are often far away from routes and towns), and costs for the disposal of the equipment after the construction is completed. The costs of supply and disposal can be significant with respect to the costs of the structure itself.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

One rainy season per year (from June to September)

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:


Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid
  • arid

The target region includes large areas extending over important gradients (encompassing boundaries of the desert zone, the forested zone and the cotton-growing zone).

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Is water salinity a problem?



Depending on the zones: presence of sodium carbonate.

Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Semi-nomadic
  • Nomadic
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • very poor
  • poor
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • large-scale

Transhumance, and more generally pastoral mobility, applies to large geographical scales and long periods. The areas involved are very large, far above 10.000 ha.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • group
Land use rights:
  • communal (organized)
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

Expansion of the areas covered by water supply points. Reduced closure of water supply points (rehabilitation), opening-up of new grazing land, securing the movement of livestock and people.

water quality for livestock

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

Comments/ specify:

Preserving the capacity of herders and their families to move, to choose their trajectories rather than responding to imposed conditions.

land use/ water rights

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

Upgrading of traditional management systems of water supply structures.

community institutions


conflict mitigation


situation of socially and economically disadvantaged groups


Ecological impacts


soil cover

Comments/ specify:

Reduction of the impacts of the concentration of livestock and people in small areas. Promotes the complementary relations between the zones (pressure relief in some zones and use and maintenance of other zones), and over the seasons.

soil organic matter/ below ground C

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover


plant diversity

Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

Increased access to groundwater through the rehabilitation of wells and the construction of new wells.

Specify assessment of off-site impacts (measurements):

As explained above, in these zones with low rainfall and scarce natural water sources of temporary character (ponds), it is essential to combine the use of surface water with the use of water from deep permanent groundwater bodies. When they have the choice, herders almost exclusively choose sources with surface water (avoiding effort to extract the water). But when these sources run dry, they fall back on using wells (and deep groundwater). The rehabilitation of old wells and the construction of new wells in zones without wells contributes to increasing the availability of water.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual rainfall decrease not well
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season decrease not well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:



The profitability is considered in relation to the number of animals/herds involved. The costs of construction and rehabilitation are certainly significant, but the water supply structures are used for thousands of animals (in case of the most heavily used wells); most animals drink every two days. Therefore the costs per head of livestock are limited. The wells are long lasting, and therefore the returns are positive in the short and the long term.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • > 50%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

The technology responds to a substantial need, but also corresponds to the capacity of land users to use and maintain the structures. The energy supply is provided by animal traction, and does not require external energy sources.

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

Access to water is such a large problem that it requires all the land users who enter the zone to be informed when a water supply structure is rehabilitated or constructed. The involvement of traditional leaders in the management of the structures, and the system of representatives of the traditional leadership in the various other zones (Khalifas) contributes to the spontaneous dissemination of the information.

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Permanent access to water.
Reopening of water supply structures and consolidation of access to water at some degraded sites.
Agencies and authorities for conflict prevention.
Marking of sections of livestock corridors with conflict situations.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Full commitment of groups (access to water is a major problem).
Continuation of the approach through the development of other projects and inclusion at the national level.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Interventions are limited with regard to the needs (rehabilitation in particular). By larger investments and better integration of the approach in public action.
There is a need to extend the approach, in particular the support to the consultative bodies. Formalize support to the consultation process.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Recognition of the experiences, the approach and the methodology in other interventions.
Outreach and awareness raising are performed during the project, but at the end the management of the infrastructure is no longer supported. The government should be able to follow up on the support (mechanism for monitoring and maintenance).
Formalize support to the consultation process.
There is a need to mainstream outreach and consultation (lengthy process). Formalize support to the consultation process.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

Progress reports and thematic reports of the project Almy Al Afia

  • interviews with land users

Follow-up and evaluation of the project activities (logbook, annual update)

  • compilation from reports and other existing documentation

Creating value from lessons learned in the project Almy Al Afia (Republic of Chad, Ministry of Water)

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Capitalisation des enseignements de la deuxième phase du projet Almy Al Afia, Main document, DHP, Antea/Iram, March 2016

Available from where? Costs?

Republic of Chad, General Secretariat, Ministry of Water, Directorate of Pastoral Water Resources

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Document de Suivi-Evaluation des activités du PHPTC II, tableau de bord des activités du projet, DHP, Antea/Iram, mars 2016

Available from where? Costs?

Republic of Chad, General Secretariat, Ministry of Water, Directorate of Pastoral Water Resources

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Note Entretiens Techniques du PRAPS, Accès et gestion durable des espaces pastoraux (chemins de transhumance, aires de pâturages et de repos), PRAPS, 2016, B. Bonnet, A. H. Dia, P. Ndiaye, I. Touré

Available from where? Costs?

Republic of Chad, General Secretariat, Ministry of Water, Directorate of Pastoral Water Resources

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Evaluation et capitalisation de 20 ans d’intervention du Groupe AFD portant sur le secteur de l’Hydraulique Pastorale au Tchad, IIED, May 2013, S. Krätli, M. Monimart, B. Jallo, J. Swift, C. Hesse

Available from where? Costs?

Republic of Chad, General Secretariat, Ministry of Water, Directorate of Pastoral Water Resources

7.3 Links to relevant online information

Title/ description:

Platform on pastoralism in Chad


Title/ description:

Website of PRAPS-TD


Title/ description:

Website of Iram


Title/ description:

AFD in Chad


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