At the request of the Department of National Parks (DPN) in Senegal and with funding of Wetlands International Africa (WIA) acquired from the "Arctic to Africa" project and others partners, profound ditching works have helped to clean and recover almost 1,000 hectares of land and space that were polluted for several years by aquatic plants in the National Park of Djoudj. This is a godsend for birds as they recover a precious surface of their habitat and feeding ground in this protected area located in northern Senegal.
Under the direct supervision of Colonel Ibrahima Diop, manager of the National Park of Djoudj, all this development work enabled an unprecedented improvement of navigability and remarkable impoundment of different areas that were under the influence of aquatic plants including cattails and phragmites among other species.
In total, nearly five kilometers of irrigation canals were drained at the Park as a result of the investment partly made by Wetlands International Africa. In terms of impact, the flow of water in the drained channels has improved significantly with the cleaning of nearly 1000 acres previously unkempt with aquatic plants.
As a result, navigation has been restored to some advanced positions of the park where nobody could reach for several years. For example, it is now possible to move along the loop connecting the Djoudj backwater to Lake Gainth, which was impossible in the past 20 years. Thus this quality foraging being reinforced, diversification of eco-tourism products, including the extension of the canoe ride beyond the pelicans nest, is now possible and is being considered as advanced navigation channels formerly obstructed by aquatic plants, are now unblocked. (Click this video to see)
The positive consequences of the development work carried out in the National Park of Djoudj with the participation of Wetlands International, are instantaneous and beneficial both for the ecosystem as well as for diversification of tourism products. This is because the majority of cleaned areas are colonized by lilies that are the favorite food of thousands of ducks populating the park.
For sustainability of these achievements, a continuous attention is required on the part of officials and the different donors, to engage regular maintenance actions of these important spaces for the equilibrium of the ecosystem in the Park.
All in all, we can say without fear of error, that the National Park of Djoudj is best ready to accommodate the thousands of migratory birds that will find better habitat and more food than they have in recent years. All this happens, thanks to the support of Wetlands International Africa and funds provided by “Arctic to Africa” project and other donors.
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81