June, 22 2012
As part of the Sahel Emergency project, an official ceremony to launch cash for work operations was held on May 24 in the village of Toro, near Tahoua in the Barmou commune in Niger.
CECI prepared for this launch ceremony by holding consensus-building meetings with regional, departmental and communal authorities to set the day’s agenda. In the early morning hours, agents from the environmental department and community project leaders went to the site to greet the attendees and the official delegation.
CECI’s team arrived and found an atmosphere full of warmth (figuratively and literally) and emotion. An impressive crowd of mainly women had gathered to wait under the sun, but with joy, for the delegation. Constituted of the secretary general and the assistant secretary general to the governor of the Tahoua region, the prefect of the department, departmental and regional civil servants, the media, law enforcement and CECI representatives (Niger director, FSA food security project manager and Emergency Sahel project coordinator), the delegation saw firsthand the miserable living conditions of the people.
After customary greetings, the launch ceremony was marked by several contributions. The mayor of Barmou’s words of welcome were followed by a speech from the Tahoua prefect and then a presentation given by CECI’s director in Niger on the Emergency Sahel project and other CECI operations in the region. Finally, the secretary general of the governorate brought the ceremony to a close. He contextualized the project within a larger support plan for vulnerable populations, kindly thanking CECI for our affection and constant support for people in the Tahoua region.
After the speech, the authorities broke ground to officially kick off operations. This ceremony was covered by radio and national television, which broadcast images of the ceremony the same evening.
Following the official launch, materials were delivered on Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26 to project sites. Operations, therefore, began on Sunday, May 27 at all sites in the Tahoua department.