Enhancing the Livelihood of Women at Grand-Sable in Response to Climate Change Impacts
Enhancing the Livelihood of Women at Grand-Sable in Response to Climate Change Impacts
Grand-Sable is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its topography. The households and fields are sandwiched between the mountains and the coast. Soil erosion and waterlogging in the fields due to the frequent occurrences of high-intensity rainfall add constant pressure to the land. Coastal infrastructures are also under pressure due to high rate of coastal erosion.
This project aims at mitigating soil erosion and waterlogging in fields which are likely to be accentuated by climate change and empowering the women on alternative income-generating activities to help them meet the challenges of climate change. Women are most likely to suffer from climate change but they are also the most capable of creating change and adaptation within their communities. The community will also be sensitised on the importance of mangroves as a means to protect the shoreline from erosion and in maintaining water quality and clarity and filtering pollutants. This will be led as a support to the mangrove plantation campaign in the second project being submitted by Grand Sable Fishermen Association, both components being supported by the Adaptation Fund Programme.

1.4.2 Project Funding
The CBA funds will be mainly utilised for increasing resilience of the soil ecosystem to climate change impacts, particularly flooding and enhancing the livelihood of the community, through the culture of seaweed for soap making and cultivation of medicinal plants as the main income generating activities for the women. The collaborations of Mauritius Research Council (MRC) for seaweed farming and development of seaweed food-based products, and the University of Mauritius (UoM) for investigating the potential of seaweed soap making, have been sought.
There are opportunities for the project to be co-financed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) which has as objective to increase climate resilience of communities and livelihoods in coastal areas of Mauritius. Co-financing will be in cash for awareness-raising of the communities on mangrove propagation. There is also room for in-kind contribution in terms of (1) plot of land from the women association for cultivation of Vetiver, Ayapana, Citronelle and Baton Rouge Cooperative Society for Cassava cultivation and (2) training on seaweed farming techniques by MRC.
1.4.3 Project Implementation
The project will be carried out in different phases namely:
Activity 1: Seaweed Farming and development of seaweed derived products (soaps, pickles and jams)
Seaweed cultivation of different species would not only create jobs but would also act as a carbon-capture for greenhouse gas mitigation measures. This project activity will include community mapping, capacity building and implementation of farm, observation and monitoring of seaweed growth and development of seaweed derived products (soap, pickles and jam). Research has already been initiated by the MRC in seaweed farming and in the development of seaweed derived products both in Mauritius and in Rodrigues. Four experimental seaweed farms by MRC have been set up in Mauritius and Rodrigues since November 2011 under the supervision and technical expertise from a resource person from the Institute of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar (Annex 6.2a).
Prior to the seaweed farming training, community mapping and a bio-assessment of the seawater will be carried out by MRC. Community mapping is a participatory process of creating maps or visual representations of the intervention community as seen by community members. In this particular case, the research area will be the marine environment and the community members of GSWPFEA (Plate 3). Community mapping will be done in order to identify a potential site for experimental seaweed farming and to seek background data on the marine environment.

Plate 3: Potential site for seaweed cultivation
Source: MRC
It is to be noted that authorization will have to be secured from the respective public body prior to implementation of the seaweed farming activity.
A prefeasibility study conducted by MRC, demonstrated that local seaweed resources can be used for a wide range of applications including human consumption, cosmetics, medical and pharmaceutical uses, plant growth promoter/biofertiliser, and animal feed formulation. A number of food products including pickles and jams have been developed with the collaboration of Agricultural Research and Extension Unit (AREU). AREU was responsible to determine the suitability of two local seaweeds Ulva lactuca and Gracilaria salicornia for selected food products. The physico-chemical characterization as well as sensory evaluations of the products have already been undertaken.
The project will also consider the potential of producing naturally-based soaps using locally available raw materials that are environment-friendly and inexpensive with view of creating an alternative livelihood for the women. Seaweed soaps (Plate 4) will be designed in different shapes and perfumes with an eco-friendly packaging (for instance, banana leaves or recycled paper) while seaweed liquid soaps will be used in dispensers.

Plate 4: Seaweed Soap produced at the UoM
The training of GSWPFEA will also involve the following activities for seaweed food-based products:
• Gracilaria pickles (pure and mixed with fruits/vegetables).
• Gracilaria jams (pure and mixed with fruits/vegetables).
• Ulva lactuca as a leafy vegetable
• Ulva lactuca jam (pure and mixed with fruits).

A study will also be conducted on the commercial potential of seaweed-based products in terms of nutritional value, shelf life and consumer acceptance.
Activity 2: Vetiver, Ayapana, Citronelle and Cassava cultivation
Vetivers’ root system is massive, deep, penetrating, tough, and very fine. This characteristic of Vetiver provides an extremely strong anchor to the soil, which is vital in erosion control of steep slopes (Plate 5). Vetiver is also extremely drought tolerant as it can explore deep soil moisture. The combination of the large root mass and the extraordinary depth of Vetiver lead to carbon sequestration. The cultivation of Vetiver around the fields as a measure to control run-off will be initiated through this project.

Plate 5: Vetiver leaves and root system

The leaves of the Vetiver will be used for handicraft purposes and the roots for essential oils production. The leaves of Vetiver will be cut off for handicraft purposes and a certain quantity of Vetiver will systematically be left and/or re-planted as they multiply to ascertain the soil stability. The Vetiver which will be used for essential oils production from roots will be grown in bags in a technique developed by Entreprendre Feminin Ocean Indien (EFOI) Association. EFOI has already indicated its support towards this craft component of this project. EFOI will also provide the seedlings for Vetiver cultivation.
Moreover, the inhabitants will be trained on the cultivation of medicinal plants such as Citronelle and Ayapana which would then be sold to a GEF/SGP grantee APEDED for the production of herbal tea and essential oils and soaps. Cassava production will be initiated for the Cereal Production by a local company (Annex 6.2a).
Baton Rouge Cooperative will provide an in-kind contribution of some 5 acres of land for Cassava cultivation. 10 women for GSWPFEA will provide some half acre of land for Vetiver, Citronelle and Ayapana cultivation.

Plate 5: Plots of land identified for Vetiver, Citronelle and Ayapana cultivation

Small-scale household waste composting
Hands-on training will also be undertaken on the composting of organic wastes. The compost produced (Plate 6) will then be utilized for the growing of Vetiver, Ayapana, Citronelle and Cassava and for other vegetables. The community of Grand-Sable will follow a theoretical training on the basics of composting and a demonstration session using rotary drum composters. These training sessions will equip the inhabitants with all the information that they will need about composting and the issues surrounding it.
They will then be in a position to replicate earth-friendly ways of creating healthy, beautiful gardens as well as increase yield in crop production without the use of chemicals. Moreover, through compost application to soil, the following benefits will be achieved: an increase in soil aeration, control of soil erosion, an increase in the soil water-holding capacity, a reduction in water demands of plants and trees, neutralization of soil toxins, and a reduction in mineral leaching from the soil, an improved root structure and deeper root growth. Some 20 women will be given rotary drum composters.

Plate 6: Rotary drum composter and compost making

Activity 4: Mangrove’s benefit sensitization campaign
Mangroves are a multiple-function resource and they are important both for the environment as well as for human communities. Mangroves are not only a nursery for many fish and provide food for various species and organisms; they also protect coastal lines from erosion and are a natural protection for human settlements against storms.
A sensitization campaign on mangrove plantation and its benefits will be launched so as to create awareness on the importance of mangrove for coastal protection targeted for both for the local communities and the students in the educational institutions of the region. A Train-the-Trainers program on mangrove propagation, talks on mangrove benefits by the trainers as well as the installation of two display boards on mangrove and climate change will be undertaken at Grand-Sable and Quatre Soeurs. This part of the project will be funded under the Adaptation Fund Programme. These activities will be carried out: (1) to raise awareness for the need and benefits of mangroves; (2) to support student education by providing ideas for learning exercises; (3) to mobilize coastal communities to get involved in mangrove reforestation.

Loading map...

Project Snapshot

Grand Sable Women Planters’, Farmers’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association
Area Of Work:
Community Based Adaptation
Grant Amount:
US$ 30,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 17,231.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 8,223.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
+ View more


University of Mauritius, Mauritius Research Council, National Disaster Risk Management Centre, Fashion And Design Institute, , Agricultural Research and Extension Unit and Adaptation Fund

Grantee Contact

Mrs Geraldine Fine Aristide
Phone: 417 6562


Grand Sable

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
(230) 213 53 84
(230) 212 14 11


2nd Floor, Sugar Industry Pension Fund Building, 1 Remy Ollier Street
Port Louis, Mauritius

Country Website