A loan of $975 helped irrigation pump.

Alioune's story

This is a group loan to be shared by the ten members of the Thialene association, who hail from the tiny village of Nder at the edge of the Sahara desert in northern Senegal. Subsistence is always a battle in this arid region, where most people still depend on rain-fed cultivation of their staple crops: millet, yams and peanuts. Investment in irrigation here can improve crop yields dramatically, increasing the surplus that the villagers sell for much-needed cash. The leader of the Thialene group, Alioune S., describes their plan to invest loan funds in an irrigation pump:

“The loan will be used to provide the group members with an irrigation pump with a capacity of 300 cubic meters per hour, which can irrigate 10 hectares of land. The pump will be managed by a maintenance person who will take charge of ensuring its good working condition. The team overseeing this project will make regular visits to all the fields where the pump is being used, and as soon as the first harvests begin we will start to collect the loan repayment without any difficulty.”

Original French:

"Il s’agit de mettre à la disposition des membres du groupement un groupe moto pompe d’une capacité de 300m3/heure pouvant irrigué 10 ha de culture et sera géré par un pompiste qui assurera l’entretien et le fonctionnement. L’équipe de suivi du projet fera des descentes dans tous les projets et dès la fin des premiers récolte commencera à faire le recouvrement des crédits sans difficulté."


Senegal is one of the world’s poorest countries, yet its solid democratic tradition and highly developed associational life distinguish it from other countries in its income group. Especially remarkable are Senegal’s networks of rotating savings and credit associations, which provide the rural poor throughout the country with small loans to finance modest income-generating activities. Repayment rates within these groups are excellent, because they are based on local reputation and personal trust between the members. However, their financial resources are limited to the contributions of their members, frequently subsistence farmers with very little disposable income. This has prevented the traditional associations from meeting the demand for rural microenterprise loans and restricted their impact on the economic development of their communities. Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance (SEM) works with our partner organization CRESP to bridge this gap by linking traditional village credit associations with outside sources of finance.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details