PRESA’s mapping specialist, Miika Mäkelä, went to the Coyah site in Guinea in November 2010 to assess the potential for watershed payments for environmental services (PES).
During the visit, he collected geographical data and visited the Coyah water treatment plant and the Coyah Water Bottling Company. From his subsequent discussions with the local PRESA team and site leader Serge Ngendakumana, there is potential for developing watershed environmental services payments in the site.
PRESA is currently examining mapping data and conducting land use change analysis. Other objectives of the trip included finalising research design, agreeing on a research methodology and training enumerators on data collection tools.
PRESA’s team in Guinea includes Serge Ngendakumana (World Agroforestry Centre) Dr. Mamadou Kabirou Bah (CERE, University of Conakry), Mr. Daouda Diallo (mapping expert, CERE), Mr. Amara Keita (research assistant) and Mr. Abou Keita (Masters student at CERE).
Mr. Daouda Diallo provided Miika with mapping data for the proposed PRESA sites, mostly from Balayan Souroumba.
The one day field excursion to Coyah was conducted on 19th November. It is the closest site to the Guinean capital, Conakry. Coyah is located approximately 40 kilometres east of Conakry, within the Fouta Djallon highlands.
The main environmental services from Coyah are watershed services. The catchment has seen severe forest degradation over the past decades, with much of the tree cover removed.
Due to dense vegetation, the soil has not been exposed but the loss of tree cover is expected to weaken ground water recharge. Local water users, notably the Coyah water bottling company, say that the water table is getting lower but this could be a result of increasing extraction rates from wells and boreholes.
Coyah presents opportunities for PRESA to study the causes of ground water reduction and land use changes. PRESA will engage with the Coyah water bottling company to devise an approach for halting deforestation and hopefully increase the ground water level within the catchment.
A meeting with the Guinea team at the University of Conakry discussed field work findings from the Coyah site, forming the basis for good working relations for 2011.
A working visit was also held with the Fouta Djallon project at the African Union Building in Conakry on the 23rd November 2010.
A longer field visit to Guinea is being planned for February 2011. It is expected that more representatives from PRESA headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, will join Miika Mäkelä and Serge Ngendakumana on this mission.
Click here to view photos from the Guinea trip.
Map of Guinea showing Conakry and Coyah
View Coyah, Guinea in a larger map