Dashboard
Actueel weer
Zondag 30 september
33°
Zonnig
Weersvoorspelling
Do 1 okt 33°regenachtig
Za 2 okt 33°regenachtig
Zo 3 okt 33°regenachtig
Actuele waterstand
Zondag 30 september
657cm
Hoog
WeersvoorspellingPeak flow level (cm)
Minimum 660
Mean 663
Maximum 666
Table of contents
OPIDIN avant la lettre
Back to OPIDIN explained

OPIDIN avant la lettre

The Inner Niger Delta is a floodplain ecosystem with a flood-dependent economy. Since time immemorial the seasonal flooding of the delta is the driver economic and cultural activities in the delta. Fishermen, pastoralists and rice farmers now this by heart. The adaptation of their daily life to the height and behaviour of the floods is rooted in their culture and traditions.

When the floodplains during the deflooding become accessible to livestock, the farmers still have to harvest their rice. Yet, herders have an interest in arriving as soon as possible on the emersed floodplain because the quality of aquatic plants decreases within weeks as the heat scorches the vegetation. Obviously, farmers do not accept cows entering their rice fields and eating the rice crop before harvest. The Dina, the law introduced by the Peuls in the 19th century, offered a compromise in these conflicting interests. Although the Dina lost its importance during colonial time, it was decided at a meeting in 1966 to re-establish the Dina with regard to grazing of cattle in the Inner Delta. In the modern version it is not the Dioro but the Gouverneur of the Mopti region who coordinates the different parties.

The annual meeting of stakeholders seeks to determine when cattle is allowed to enter the different zones in the Inner Delta. This meeting takes place in early October, thus still during rising water, so that the ‘calendrier de déplacement’, also known as ‘calendrier de traversées’ or ‘calendrier de la campagne des bourgoutières’ can be ascertained based on the expected date that the floodplain becomes available. Thus, an OPIDIN avant la lettre.

The herders and their cows need to cross the river during the deflooding. There are 32 frequently-used crossings. The river-crossing is celebrated each year. Popular festivities are, for instance, ‘Jaaral jafaradji’ at Diafarabé (see photos) and ‘Deggal diali’ at Dialloubé. The date at which cows are allowed to cross the river differs for the various official crossing-points. Because the floodplain in the southeast becomes available in advance of the floodplain in the central Inner Delta, access is already permitted in November in Diafarabé. Between 90 to 110 days later, the area near Lac Walado-Debo is opened for grazing.

deflooding_image1.png

The variation in water level (cm) in Akka since 1955 between 1 June and 1 June the next year. After a high flood the floodplains at 200 and 100 cm are emersed early and half May, respectively, but when the peak flood has been low the same floodplains are already dry from January onwards.

deflooding_image2en3en4.png

The entry dates vary between years (see table). After the low flood of 1984, cows were allowed to enter the floodplain around four weeks earlier compared to the high flood of 1994. The technical report (see download & links) compares the water level at Ke-Macina near to Diafarabé at the dates of access since 1980. The variation is large, either because the stakeholders negotiate each year fanatically about the calendar or because they are not able to do a more precise prediction of the date at which the floodplains are accessible to livestock. OPIDIN might help them to arrive at a right decision.

Year

River crossing at Diafarabé

Peak flood level in Mopti (cm)

1980

22-11

592

1981

22-11

628

1982

21-11

551

1983

13-11

507

1984

5-11

440

1985

10-11

571

1986

30-11

534

1987

22-11

481

1988

14-11

571

1989

26-11

517

1990

25-11

510

1991

24-11

530

1992

14-11

538

1993

14-11

498

1994

17-12

665

1995

9-12

614

1996

30-11

595

1997

17-11

580

1998

25-11

639

1999

4-12

662

2000

25-11

608

2001

24-11

621

2002

9-11

538

2003

6-12

649

2004

27-11

561

2005

19-11

571

2006

18-11

597

2007

1-12

644

2008

29-11

633

2009

21-11

631