This 13 minute long documentary was created by Ann Sulkovsky (RPCV Niger 1981-1983) while working at the Office of Radio and Television of Niger (ORTN) in 1982. Peace Corps’ role was to transition Tele-Sahel, the television network of ORTN, from being a French run-station to one managed and operated by citizens of Niger.
The film is in French, and has no captions, but we have provided a rough transcript below, based on early production notes for the video. It discusses the “Rôneraie Project”, an initiative to get rônier trees (African fan palm) planted and used throughout the Dallol Maouri Valley, in the Gaya district of Dosso, Niger. Hamma Diaoga, who also worked at ORTN, narrates.
The country of Niger was noted at the time for having an advanced television network. Productions were transmitted from ORTN in Niamey via satalite and microwave to villages across the country. The television sets in the villages were solar powered. Originally, all productions were for educational purposes in the schools, since there were not enough teachers for the villages. ORTN evolved into the country’s general TV station.
It should also be noted that at this time, the director of Tele-Sahel was Maman Sidikou, who went on to become the Nigerien Ambassador to the United States in 2012.
Category: Environmental Protection Subject: The "Project Rôneraie" Title: The "Projet Rôneraie" of Dallol Maouri (translated from French) Produced for: L'O.R.T.N., Tele-Sahel, Niamey, Niger, West Africa Written by: Ann Sulkovsky Date: 1982 Audience: General Purpose: General education/information on project THE RÔNIER PROJECT OF DALLOL MAOURI SEQUENCE I CU of wooden roof beams of house in construction. Shot from ground the sky can be seen beyond as the camera pans along the beams. MUSIC IN AND UP CUT TO FADE IN OF TITLE GRAPHIC CUT to plan of CARPENTER working on the unfinished roof. MUSIC DOWN NARRATOR - In Niger, the rônier tree is an important source of construction wood. MUSIC OUT NARRATOR - As urban development accelerates throughout Niger, traditional banco construction calls more and more for rônier beams. CUT to PAN of PANORAMIC SCENE of the village adjoining the project. The rônier project is located in the Gaya district of Dosso and covers the southern portion of the Dallol Maouri Vally. CUT to PANORAMIC SCENE of the project The climatic conditions of this zone are ideal for the rônier, with a rainfall of 750 to 1000 ml, and a water level close to the surface. SEQUENCE II CUT to plan of PROJECT DIRECTOR CUTAWAYS for use during the interview: 1) villagers cultivating their fields 2) cows and goats eating the young trees 3) the fence 4) mature tree INTERVIEW on site with the director of the project. He should discuss the difficulties of the project including: 1) the farmers who do not like the trees in their fields 2) the animals that trample and graze on the small trees 3) the herders who resist the fencing which protects from the animals 4) the 20 year span of time for a tree to attain maturity. CUT to ILLUSTRATION of the rônier tree. PAN to the various sections as they are discussed. NARRATOR - The rônier has numerous uses, which is why it is known as teh "tree with 100 uses". Apart from the trunk which provides support for the roof of banco houses, the leaves serve as fencing and roofing material. The shell of the nut is used for fire wood, and the young root is a delicious snack. In addition, the roots are marketed as woven mat material. CUT to plan of village house, where rônier leaves serve as fencing material MUSIC IN AND UP CUT to plan with children eating the roots CUT to plan of treetops CUT to plan plonging from treetops to the ground. (This shows the great height of the mature rônier.) CUT to plan with seedlings growing in a line. MUSIC DOWN AND OUT SEQUENCE III CUT to WIDE SHOT a the Niamey wood market INTERVIEW with a wood beam marketing representative. Include several cutaways of the beams NARRATOR - At the Niamey wood market a merchant tells us the originas of the wooden beams he is selling. (VOICE OVER of Narrator who translates the discussion of the merchant.) We look for them in the neighboring countries, notably Nigeria, because in Niger the commercialization is presently suspended to encourage the regeneration of the existing trees. Nevertheless, in Nigeria, the Forest Service also severely limits the commercialization, which is why we pay so much to offer the beams in our market. SEQUENCE IV MUSIC IN AND UP CUT to man carrying banco to the house under construction, from a pail where it is being mixed MUSIC DOWN CUT to a second man standing on the roof positioning a beam CUT to man mixing banco in the pail CUT to pail being hoisted from the ground to the man on the roof NARRATOR - Accelerating urban development increasingly demands traditional construction, requiring indigenous materials. The rônier beams are the best local supplier of carpentry needs. CUT to the second man chiseling a small indentation in which to place a beam CUT to young boy assistant who is pounding a beam in place. CUT to second man who places the banco around the joined beams NARRATOR - Moreover, they are superior to imported wood beams because they resist rotting and termite attacks, and possess excellent strength. Rônier beams support more than 20 years, but the roofing must be replaced every three years. MUSIC OUT