Anyone who gets our newsletter or regular updates has heard about what a bad year it is here. After two years of little to no rains and the severe lack of pasture that goes along with it, we knew that we were facing another food crisis, worse than that of 2005 which received international media attention. By the end of the hot season, cows that would normally sell for $500 in market were going for $10. Driving through the region you would see dead animals everywhere. Thankfully the rainy season did start (and is still going) although it seemed to come a little late farther up north. With the first big rain up north came flash floods which took many people’s remaining stock that had survived the hot season. Without their animals they have no means to buy food to feed their families. So now there is pasture, but many people don’t have animals to eat it. Environmentally speaking, it’s probably a good thing as the zone is over grazed, but for those individuals who have lost everything it is catastrophic.
In the midst of this catastrophe Arcata First Baptist Church gave $7,000 to help us feed the poorest of the poor. With that money we were able to buy a sack of millet, a sack of rice, and a 5 liter jug of oil each for 70 families. This will feed each family for approximately two months. The beneficiaries were from seven different sites, both Wodaabe and Tamasheq. Each one was more than grateful.
Some of the food waiting to be distributed.
Micah waiting to go out to the bush.
For security reasons, just to be on the safe side, we took armed guards out with us. They were quite taken with Micah
One of the grateful recipients.
“Signing” for their grain with their thumb prints
Micah helping with the distribution
There doesn’t seem to be an abundance of aid coming in and really the crisis is just beginning, or I guess you could say it continues. We call it post-crisis. We made it through the hot season and the rains and the pasture have come, but now many people are left with nothing. Next we will do what we can to help people re-stock their herds so that they can hopefully become once again self-sufficient.