Oxfam food security officer talks with Abdel Karim Tahira as he takes his livestock to the only watering hole between Mongo and Mangalme. The water level has dropped dramatically since last rainy season. Guera province, Chad.
In 2012, countries across the Sahel are once again facing a serious food crisis as the rains have failed to come. This ecologically fragile region is becoming even more vunerable as grazing areas for livestock are disappearing, affecting millions of pastoralists across this region of Africa.
Across Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and northern Senegal malnutrition rates hover between 10 and 15 percent, and in some areas rates have risen beyond the emergency threshold level of 15 percent. Over one million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
Grazing areas for their livestock are also fast disappearing, and as a result, the pastoralists' livelihoods are being threatened as the desertification takes its grip.
Oxfam is hoping to raise $37m to reach around one million people across the Sahel region with vital aid such as food, cash, support to livestock, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion campaigns.
Photo: Andy Hall/Oxfam, 9 Feb 2012