Niger, West Africa Women carrying pots on their heads

CRAC-GRN (formerly the SOS Sahel UK programme in Niger from 1988 to 2002) was established in 2003 as an autonomous unit within SOS Sahel International Niger.  Its acronym stands for ‘Cellule du Recherche-Action Concertée au Gestion des Ressources Naturelles’.

CRAC-GRN helps communities in the Sahélo-Soudanienne region adapt themselves to the inevitable changes in their socio-economic environment.  It designs and implements projects which can be implemented and maintained by the government and local institutions, as well as adapted in other areas experiencing similar problems. 

In Zinder region, CRAC-GRN is helping local populations to actively manage the natural resources on which they depend in a rational, representative and equitable way so they can achieve greater livelihood security and combat poverty. It promotes decentralised natural resource management as one of the most effective methods of facilitating genuine, long-term development.

CRAC-GRN believes that the different interest groups that depend on natural resources (particularly common property resources) should be at the centre of decision-making over those resources. One of its major achievements has been the handover of neglected local forest plantations from the State Forestry Service to twelve communities in the Zinder region. This has led to sustainable timber harvesting, better grazing controls and an impressive re-planting rate.

CRAC-GRN's programmes include:

  • Governance of Forest Resources Learning Group (GAGRF)
  • Governance of Water Resources in the Sahel Project
  • Consortium for a situation analysis on ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in semi-arid sub- Saharan Africa
  • Combating nutritional deficiencies and household poverty in Zinder region through the promotion of micro-irrigation
Niger ''...the real challenge [following the 2005 food crisis] is how to build up systems that enable Niger's people to better buffer themselves against unpredictable but inevitable climatic variations and to find viable options out of the poverty loop''. Kees Vogt, Director of CRAC-GRN, October 2005 UN Human Development Index
Ranking: 186 out of 187
Life Expectancy: 54.7 yrs (2011)
People without access to improved water: 52% (2006)
Adult literacy rate: 29.8% (2008)
(over 15)
School enrolment: 24.9% (2009)
(estimate: primary, secondary & tertiary)
Registered Charity No.296311 Company Limited by Guarantee No. 2100867