Rehabilitating a dam

The project aimed to rehabilitate the Séméré village dam in the municipality of Ouaké, Benin. The dam was to be returned to service to satisfy the water needs of the local population, with the goal of improving the local economy (livestock rearing and market gardening) while, at the same time, contributing to the ecological balance of the region. 

The dam became operational again in February 2014. Since then, the village of Séméré and its surrounding population (11,000 people) have had access to running water for their daily domestic needs. The capacity of the water reservoir is larger than originally planned, enabling the market gardening area to double in size and four new farmers (44 in total) to start new gardening activities. Livestock could again drink water normally around the dam. The association officially inaugurated the dam in November 2014, together with the Mayor of Ouaké and several hundred villagers. The site provides a pleasant environment where people can meet, with a positive impact on village dynamics.

Le Coeur de Nouricia is a French association composed of 85 volunteer members of the Nouricia Cooperative. The latter is one of the main French agricultural cooperatives for the collection, distribution and processing of agricultural produce (VIVESCIA).



Community Development / Health


October 2012 - May 2014


Séméré / Benin

With whom

Le Cœur de Nouricia


11.2 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 800/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
40% (2015)

Literacy rate
33% (2016)

Human Development Index
163rd out of 189 countries (2018)

Benin has implemented important economic and structural reforms over the past decade leading to notable improvements in human development. Despite moderate GDP growth, 4 to 6% per year over the past two decades, poverty remains widespread and on the rise. Significant challenges remain in the health sector, with child and maternal mortality remaining high. With one of the lowest literacy rates in the world (33%), the quality of education still requires improvement. The share of public expenditure for the health and education sectors has significantly dropped over the past two years (from 7 to 4% and from 23 to 4.4%). Efforts are needed to ensure equity on geographical distribution and in particular better management of the two sectors.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.