Kayes in Mali, land of innovation: When transhumance trails become bridges of peace!
As conflicts between farmers and herders seem inevitable, a glimmer of hope emanates from the Kayes region, illuminating the Malian lands with an initiative as bold as it is inspiring. The Citizen Association for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Women (ACIDEF) has positioned itself as the conductor of a social and environmental transformation, redesigning the contours of relations between communities and livestock. In the 25th edition of our weekly column “ Gems of Family Farming “, we highlight this exceptional initiative that is changing the game for farmers and herders in the region.
The initiative begins with a participatory process of dialogue and engagement, involving all stakeholders – from village chiefs to local authorities, as well as herders and farmers. Together, they mapped out and negotiated 160 km of routes, with the ultimate goal of creating an environment conducive to transhumance and peaceful cohabitation. The marking of the route is a crucial step, concretely marking the fruit of these negotiations. Village chiefs took up paint, tracing the validated path for all to see. Then, a specialized company was hired to install the markers, under the watchful eye of a monitoring committee, composed of representatives from each village along the route.
This collective effort has given birth to a robust infrastructure, with water points, livestock feed stores, vaccination parks, and rest areas, all scattered along the 92 km of marked routes. Two animal health auxiliaries now oversee the health of the livestock, equipped to handle any eventuality. The changes did not take long to manifest. Conflicts have diminished, natural resources are better managed, and social cohesion has been strengthened. ACIDEF has infused a new dynamic, transforming livestock migration routes into true corridors of peace.
To support this transformation, local conflict resolution mechanisms have been put in place, and the capacities of local actors have been strengthened, enabling them to take charge of resource management and conflict prevention. The lessons learned from this experience are numerous. The involvement of host communities from the start of the process, raising awareness of the economic and social impact of transhumance, and strengthening the capacities of management committees are all keys to ensuring the success and sustainability of such projects.
The replicability of this initiative is within reach, with the implementation of best practices and lessons learned from ACIDEF’s experience. Local authorities and state technical services have a crucial role to play in ensuring the necessary anchoring and complementarity. There is no need to look any further for stories that inspire, initiatives that transform, and communities that flourish. ACIDEF, through its unwavering commitment and visionary outlook, has demonstrated that peace and prosperity are within reach, even in the most tumultuous terrains.
To delve even deeper into this exceptional human adventure and uncover all its secrets, do not hesitate to download the capitalization document:
Join us in celebrating peaceful coexistence and discover how, together, we can transform challenges into opportunities, and grounds of discord into lands of peace and abundance.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer