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‘Good evening, dear listeners, this is your friendly team from the Regreening Africa Project on the number one talk show.’

This is a familiar phrase to the residents of Fatick, Kaffrine and Kaolack regions in Senegal, where the Regreening Africa project is implementing activities. Because of COVID-19, adjusting to the ‘new normal’ has required ingenious thinking. Community radio remains a simple and reliable means of reaching populations to ensure continuity of services.

This ‘old school’ medium with a presenter in a modest room housing a wooden table and chair, two microphones and protection equipment against COVID-19 is proving to be essential for this European Union-funded project that aims to expand the scale of previous efforts while also encouraging adoption of regreening techniques by more farmers. Implemented by World Vision Senegal with technical support from World Agroforestry (ICRAF), the project targets restoration of 160,000 hectares to improve the resilience of 80,000 households in the above-named regions.

Thanks to the flexibility and efficiency of being spoken in ‘indigenous’ dialects and powered through portable devices such as phones that double as torches at night, community radio is curating space for discussion on the airwaves to build back better.

To date, more than 15,000 people have listened to one-hour broadcasts on 12 community radio stations in Fatick, Kaolack and Kaffrine. With messages encompassing the importance of adopting sustainable restoration practices, teams from World Vision Senegal in partnership with the regional service of Water and Forestry and leading farmers have for the past three months sung the rehabilitation message in French, Wolof and Serere languages.

The practices promoted over the air include planting and caring for trees, farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR), soil-restoration techniques like mulching, and establishment and management of tree nurseries, which are in special ways transforming the lives and livelihoods of farmers trained by Regreening Africa.

It is now a tradition in most Kaolack households between 5pm and 6pm on Mondays to sit with family or friends ready to receive great ideas that can not only transform the level of soil fertility, increase crop yields and improve nutrition but also diversify income-generating avenues. Read the whole story following the link above