Perhaps not everyone knows the story of Yakouba Sawadogo a man who every day tries to stop the advance of the desert between Burkina Faso and Niger, only with the help of his forces and his knowledge in agriculture. A few days ago Yakouba was awarded the Right Livelihood Award 2018, for being able to bring back forests and crops where everyone thought it was impossible. But how did this simple farmer create forests in the desert?
Yakouba Sawadogo is a famous farmer from Burkina Faso because he is able to regenerate the barren land in cultivable areas. Thanks to its method that combines innovation with indigenous and local cultivation techniques, Yakouba manages to recover soils also severely damaged by drought. Since 1980, this expert farmer has created over 40 hectares of crops and forests on lands that were considered sterile and therefore abandoned.
What is most surprising is that Sawadogo does not use technological or surprisingly innovative methods; it simply uses its in-depth knowledge of local agriculture that has refined and perfected over the years.
To allow all this Yakouba uses the Zai, traditional wells capable of collecting rainwater thanks to the clayey and almost impermeable bottom. These wells conserve the water that makes the soil fertile over the years allowing cultivation in spite of climate change.
Despite the great work done for his country and for all the populations facing serious problems due to drought, Yakouba has been targeted for years by local tribes. On several occasions his plantations and the newly planted forests have been set on fire without discouraging the man who has gone straight on his way to earn his respect thanks to his work.
Now Yakouba Sawadogo has been honored as one of the winners of the Alternative Nobel Prize that every year the Right Livelihood Association delivers to the brave people and organizations that fight to solve global problems. Now the man can enjoy his prestigious recognition along with the other two winners of the Right Livelihood Award 2018.
It's nice to see how even the big men and the big and less famous women who every day struggled to make the world better every day can get some kind of recognition for their work! At the end of the article you can find the video in which the winners of the Right Livelihood Award 2018 are announced, including Yakouba Sawadogo.