Before and behind the scenes
A strong professional team provides steering and is essential for continuity
A non-profit organisation is nothing without a strong professional team to guarantee the continuity of its operations. In our steady growth we are therefore working very hard to build up a professional team in Belgium and Senegal that can act with knowledge and expertise. Volunteers can contribute as additional support, which creates support and sensitisation among the wider public.
Behind the scenes
The importance of a strong team is expressed, among other things, in the preparations behind the scenes. While the work on the site in Téssékéré (1250ha) is progressing (after the groundwork and sowing, placing 21 km of fences (see photo above)), agreements are already being made today with the various national official bodies for the new sites to be reforested in 2023.
Before and after their operational tasks behind the scenes, Bineta KAMARA (Operational Director Senegal) and Saïdou BA (Agronomist OZG) also make agreements with various Senegalese official bodies about the designated sites for the next years within classified areas (protected nature reserve) and/or in the area of the "Great Green Wall". Agreements are mostly about technical aspects such as soil composition, location of forests, accessibility of the sites, protection level, presence of villages, population numbers, possibilities to realise socio-economic impacts, etc...
Once the criteria have been established, the team in Senegal prepares to visit these designated sites during an internal mission, to make the necessary arrangements with the local population and to report to Dr. Wouter Vanhove (Operational Director OZG international). Together with Prof. Dr. Ir. P. Van Damme, final choices are then made and the sites are finally allocated for reforestation for the next season.
A close cooperation between the OZG Senegal team, the national services in Senegal and the local population is crucial for a good roll-out of the projects in the pipeline. Good planning and follow-up together with the team in Belgium is essential to achieve the desired results.
Today (August 2022), the Senegalese team is again on an internal mission to explore the designated sites. As soon as the terrains are allocated, they will be shown on Google Maps. Depending on the available budgets for 2023, one or more sites will then be prepared for afforestation. To be continued...