Niger: AREVA improves access to the rural township of Timia and Fort Massu
May 14, 2012
For more than a year now, AREVA has been working with the association Les Amis de Timia* in a project to rehabilitate Fort Massu and improve access to it and the rural township of Timia, an oasis located 220 km from Arlit and Agadez, in northern Niger.
This community assistance project, which involved a great deal of manual labor, was carried out with technical support from the Regional Rural Engineering Department at Agadez and in liaison with the chairman of the Municipal Council of Timia. It was divided into two parts.
The first, undertaken in spring 2011, consisted in completely rehabilitating Fort Massu**, a vestige of the French colonial presence constructed in 1951. Over 70 people from Timia were hired to do the work, thus earning many families good incomes and significantly improving their daily lives at a time when the shortage of food is still a problem in Niger.
In the second part of the project, which began in January 2012, a trail roughly 3 km long was built to provide a way around a kori*** that floods during the rainy season. Running from the hill of Tekarkar to Timia, the rural township’s main community, and then on to Fort Massu, the trail facilitates travel to the village, the fort, and the region at all times of the year.
Divided into five teams and working in shifts under the supervision of foremen, 60 people from Timia broke the dense rock and leveled the trail manually using picks, chisels and shovels, receiving pay for this work, too.
The excavation is now finished, and the hydraulic work is 80% completed. The compacting will be done by the trucks, cars and motorcycles that drive over the trail, which they have already begun to do.
* Les Amis de Timia: an independent association created in 1997 to provide support to the population of Timia and its region through actions such as emergency assistance during prolonged droughts (food aid, livestock support, etc.) and through sustainable development initiatives in the areas of farming, health, education, and so on.
**Fort Massu: realized in the context of a construction exercise in a dry environment zone, Fort Massu was never used to military purposes. Restored a first time by the population of Timia in 1998, it was after transformed into Saharan refuge for visitors.
*** kori: a streambed that is dry in the dry season and flooded in the rainy season.