Kanso is a small town of 800 inhabitants, one of the oldest in the rural commune of Niéna (Ganadougou), located in the Sikasso region, the southernmost region of Mali. The population is made up of Bambaras and Peulhs, two ethnic groups that live in perfect harmony and maintain very good relations with the neighboring towns.
Kanso is situated on the edge of a vast plain, flooded during the rainy season, where two rivers form lakes. It is a land very suitable for growing rice fields, although it is not exploited. The main activity of the population is agriculture, with some secondary activities that allow them to obtain some additional income.
Kanso does not have a school or a health center. Yes there are in Bazana, a neighboring town. However, the river and the vast swampy area that separate Kanso and Bazana make it very difficult to travel between the two villages, especially for the students and the women who are going to give birth. Nougomé is another nearby town that has a school, although it is also separated by a river.
Kanso women do some horticultural work on the plain, but to a very limited extent because they do not have a fenced perimeter to prevent free herds from passing through. If they managed to develop this activity, they could stock up on vegetables (tomatoes, onions, aubergines, cabbages, etc.) that they could also sell in neighboring towns and in the Niéna market.
The area is rich in vegetation, and around the village there are numerous shea and mango trees. The women collect shea nuts to produce soap for their own use. They are also misused to merchants (mainly from Burkina Fasso) who use them for the production of shea cream, highly valued for the manufacture of cosmetics. For their own production, women use traditional methods that require great effort. A dehulling machine would be a great advance for them, as it would allow them to improve the quality and quantity of the butter produced.
Kanso's main problem is education. To go to school in Bazana, the children have to travel 5 km each day on the way out and back, fording the river. The school hours are in the morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. As there is no school canteen, students must take food from home. Tiredness due to the distance to travel, and coming home late, greatly affect the school performance of children. The cases of abandonment are numerous, and the situation discourages parents to enroll their children in school. Only 10% of school-age children are in school. For this reason, the people of Kanso consider it imperative to have a school of their own.
Another problem in the area is the gold mines that are 50 km from Kanso. Working in the extraction of gold has become the main activity of the people during the dry season, causing the abandonment of agricultural activities. Furthermore, many parents let their children go there to earn a living, despite the poor working conditions suffered by the miners.
Trajes de fiesta
En la gran celebración oficial de mayo de 2019, sacaron unos trajes ancestrales hechos con plumas, que reservan para las ocasiones extraordinarias.
Con algunos niños del poblado, en febrero de 2018.
El pozo del poblado
El agua del pozo que hay en el poblado no es muy potable, aunque la beben.
Fiesta de la pesca
En nuestro viaje de mayo de 2017 asistimos a la fiesta de la pesca, en la que participa mucha gente de la zona.
Ilusionados con la escuela
La gente de Kanso está muy ilusionada con la construcción de la escuela (junio 2016).