Select Page

A workshop discusses the sustainability options for the WENDOU , Ferlo, Senegal

SERVIR West Africa, a joint USAID and NASA program is at the forefront of the Ferlo region’s inaugural temporary surface water monitoring service. Known as WENDOU, the service, developed by the Senegal’s Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) finds its roots in the local Puular language, translating to “pond”. ​Wendou delivers critical information regarding local pond status and water availability, all based on Earth Observation (EO) data. The WENDOU platform developed by the SERVIR West Africa program and the CSE provides an effective solution for monitoring the availability of water in temporary surface water points in the Ferlo region of Senegal.

Since 2016, WENDOU has provided accurate and up-to-date information on the location, extent, and water availability of more than 1,300 ponds in near real-time. It has enabled decision-makers and community leaders to make informed decisions regarding the management of water resources in the region.

On October 2 and 3, 2023, a gathering of twenty influential stakeholders, all members of the Wendou Community of Practice (CoP), convened to deliberate upon the sustainability of this vital service. During the event, Dr. Adama Sarr, the Wendou Service Lead at CSE, underlined the significance of the WENDOU platform.

“The commitment to sustainability has been embedded in Wendou from its inception through the establishment of the CoP. We are confident in WENDOU’s ability to endure beyond the life span of the SERVIR WA program, while also seeking commitment from institutions, particularly those in the public livestock sector”, says Dr. Adama Sarr.

To bolster the long-term sustainability of WENDOU’s service, a conceptual note has been thoughtfully prepared. This endeavor aims to effectively engage key partners in expanding the service, especially to livestock breeders. Dr. Mbengue from the Livestock Directorate (DIREL) pledged to make the WENDOU geoportal more visible on the PDEPS platform, a program within his directorate.

“This geoportal provides significant benefits to communities, and its integration into our platform will enhance its visibility. Our partners will come to recognize its significance in the daily lives of the people.”

The growing prominence of Wendou in Ferlo is also tribute to effective communication. It sustainability will also depends the pivotal role in disseminating and comprehending the service’s impact.

“Community radios have been successful in disseminating information through announcements, programs, and discussions. They have educated people about WENDOU’s products, and listeners have been proactive, even suggesting topics for future broadcasts. Given that radio programs are delivered in the local language, they have effectively reached nearly all communities” says Mr. Alioune Sow, Director of Thiel FM radio in Ferlo.

“Community radios play a great role as conduits and sustainability tools for expanding Wendou’s reach”, Ms. Thioro Codou Niang, Lead Communication, SERVIR-WA, underscores .

The workshop is a significant milestone in WENDOU’s development. The discussions and outcomes of the workshop will play a crucial role in ensuring that WENDOU continues to benefit local communities, both within and beyond the SERVIR-WA program.

“Maintaining social institutional openness and strong user connections is key to sustainability. By doing so, we ensure that WENDOU becomes more accessible to the community,” Dr. Cheick Mbow, Director General of CSE, concludes.

Contributed by Thioro Codou Niang, CSE, Senegal and Agathe Diama, ICRISAT.