Blog | 2023-11-16

The WACA project: a life transformation for Yaye Alimatou Guèye

The WACA project empowering resilient fish seller, Yaye Alimatou Guèye, in Mauritania.

Yaye Alimatou Guèye, a resilient fish seller hailing from the village of Ndiago in south-west Mauritania, has seen her life take a transformative turn, all thanks to the WACA project. Born into a long line of fishermen, Yaye's journey has been marked by both triumphs and tribulations.

In the face of adversity, Yaye exhibited admirable resilience. Despite the challenges of supporting six children and a husband whose occupation kept him away at sea, she managed to make ends meet. From covering her children's education expenses to providing for the family's meals, Yaye took on her responsibilities with unwavering determination.

However, her stability was shaken in the 2000s as the availability of fish dwindled, leading to deteriorating living conditions in Ndiago. Like many others in the village, Yaye's income from fish sales drastically declined. To add to her woes, her husband, after years of navigating the sea's uncertainties, retired due to advancing age.

A further blow came when the small shop she rented with fellow village women was swallowed by the relentless sea, which eroded parts of the coastline every year.

Amidst this tragic situation, the Ministry of the Environment, with financial support from the World Bank, launched the WACA Mauritania Project to aid the women of Ndiago.

Yaye Alimatou, displaying ingenuity, formed an association uniting several women facing similar challenges. Through the social sub-projects program, they secured funding to embark on market gardening as a livelihood.

As the village experienced administrative changes, and with plans for a military and commercial port as well as the future exploitation of offshore gas, the market gardening venture held promising prospects.

The market garden produce soon gained immense popularity, breathing new life into Yaye's previously compromised existence, all thanks to the support of the WACA project.

Additionally, Yaye's eldest son, who migrated to Italy in 2010, has been a pillar of support, sending her a substantial monthly sum.

Filled with euphoria, Yaye effusively expresses her gratitude, stating, "I will forever be thankful to the WACA project for changing not only my life but also the lives of my fellow villagers. I hope more women in the community can benefit from the project's invaluable support."

Author: Birome Guèye (Waca-Mauritanie)


Date: 2023-11-16


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