Courtesy WOII Nonna Sokka – PIO, MINUSMA GHANENGCOY 9, Mali
The Ghana Engineer Company 9 (GHANENGCOY 9) of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has undertaken rehabilitation works of an old dike at Kabara, Timbuktu, Mali, to protect land and property from inundation and to enable farmers control the flow of water and its use for irrigation purposes.
The Kabara Dike Project, which included the construction of a culvert, took place on 26 – 27 May 2021, as part of the Company’s corporate social responsibility towards the indigenous farmers of the area – a quick impact project (QIP) – under the aegis of Sector West Headquarters, and was at the request of the indigenes of Kabara – a town which hosts the Integrated Super Camp (ISC) of MINUSMA’s Sector West.
Prior to the construction of the project – which is also aimed at winning the hearts of the people of Kabara – during the rainy seasons, the farmers had had their farms flooded, due to massive inflow of water from the Niger River into the dike, and to avoid the destruction of their farms, they had fabricated metal gates to control and direct the water onto their fields, to be used to irrigate their crops.
However, over a period of eight years since the beginning of the Mali conflict, the dike had been inactive whilst the metal gates covering the culvert became rusty, thus, could not serve their purpose; as they were poorly fabricated and could not hold the water to release it at desired times for them to use for irrigation.
To solve this problem, the farmers used sand bags to block one end of the culvert, into the other side of the dike; which rather worsened the situation, as the dike gradually became silted with sand and other plastics.
With the worsening situation becoming perennial, the community called on MINUSMA for assistance with the latter adding the request to its QIPs list.
The Sector West Commander – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Wael Ahmed Shawky, through the Sector’s G9 Cell, which supervises Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) projects, tasked GHANENGCOY 9 to undertake the project, as part of its CIMIC activity.
After receiving material support from the Mission, the Ghanaian Company – GHANENGCOY 9 – commenced work on Wednesday 26 May 2021 using its major equipment.
The engineers dredged the dike of all debris and silt and restored it to an improved state, extending the two metal gates covering the culvert, to fully cover from the top to the base of the culvert; thereby fittingly sealing its entrance to prevent water leakage when it is closed.
The Burkina Faso Battalion at MINUSMA, provided both escort and guards to secure the grounds from threats; whilst the El-Salvador Aviation Unit was on standby to provide aerial security, to engender a conducive and secured environment for the engineers to work.
Through views sampling of the locals by the Press and Information (PI) Cell of GHANENGCOY 9, it was revealed that the farmers of Kabara were very excited to see their dike and culvert rehabilitated within the shortest time.
The leader of the farmers’ association – Cooperative Agricole de Daye et Hondobomo – Mr. Alkeidi Toure, expressed satisfaction and gratitude to GHANENGCOY 9 for the rapid and prompt execution of the project.
Additionally, the G9 Cell at Sector West Headquarters in Timbuktu commended the Ghana Engineer Company for a task timely and well executed, that through the efforts of the United Nations Mission, peace and harmony would return to Mali with improved security and democratic systems.