Ndem is a community in the inner country of the ‘Bassin Arachidier’ of Senegal, the Peanut Growing basin of the Sahel region http://www.ndem.info/ . The area suffered rapid desertification and soil loss due to the climatic changes combined with the extensive monoculture of peanut that was once introduced by the French for export to its other territories. The rapid exodus reached its peak with the drought conditions in the 1980s that hit most of West Africa.
Since 30 years, the village of Ndem has been created by the spiritual Sufi leader Serigne Babacar Mbow and his disciples to attract young people to return to the land and reverse the rural exodus. Centred on the Baaye Fall path of Sufism, with love for all lives, work dedication and Peace as their core values, the villagers of Ndem created an unrivalled example of sustainability. After 30 years of dedication and hard work, they managed to regenerate the soil fully dependent on organic compost, create an organic farm, establish a sustainable water catchment and network, have a 100% of their energy solar, invent a biofuel from peanut waste to replace fuel-wood, create a whole recycling industry for metals and textile and get certified Fair Trade.
Ndem excels in the production on indigo and Bogolan as well as other textile products from their local grown cotton. They are constantly looking for alternatives to substitute conventional dies with natural ones.
Ndem does not only concentrate on their village, they currently work with 15 surrounding villages, creating employment opportunities and local economy. They are currently working on creating a local market area for local goods.
Ndem is also engaged in rehabilitating endangered and locally extinct animals by creating a small in-situ conservation area beside the Marechage (Permaculture garden), they also will integrate this project with their already existing educational system – that was recently approved by the government – and their tourism work. For that they created a number of new establishment to host small groups. Ndem also created a small residence in Ngor where they can host visitors in Dakar and two Fair Trade outlets in Dakar and Sa int Louis.