NIGER, WEST AFRICA: July 9, 2012. The West African country of Niger is characterized by sporadic and scarce rainfall, prone to prolonged drought punctuated by flooding, and is experiencing hardship from the food crisis currently sweeping the entire Sahel region.
The rural township of Gougaram in the remote Arlit area of the Agadez region is composed of 12 nomadic communities with over 6,000 inhabitants, almost all traditional herders who have lost 65 to 70% of their livestock from drought and lack of food. Gougaram is among the nomadic communities who are receiving direct food aid from RAIN in response to the crisis.
Recognizing that nomadic families rely on their livestock for both food and income, 4,400 lbs. of wheat and 6,600 lbs. of cottonseed have been purchased and transported to the Gougaram animal feed bank to be distributed to nomadic families at risk of losing their herd animals. Already, several families have had their cattle brought back from the brink with this aid, securing their only source of food at this time.
“On behalf of all the herding families of Gougaram, we thank RAIN and its donors for the help that has arrived at this opportune time. This support allows our animals to survive through this difficult period. We watched our animals die from hunger daily. ” – Sidi Ahmed, Gougaram herder and RAIN animal feed program volunteer.