Check out this great post from Robert Sherman, Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ Action Center:
If you travel through Niger, you may meet farmers like Namata Abba, who will tell you how the young people often go elsewhere in search of work to provide for their families.
The migration leaves behind women, children and the elderly struggling to farm in a drying landscape. It strains the resources of the cities like Niamey, Niger’s capital, which become crowded with migrants looking for a way to survive.
In addition to hearing firsthand accounts like Namata’s, learn more about how global warming threatens Niger’s future and what you can do about it by watching the Niger online training at Mercy Corps’ Action Center. Learn how the water sources that support the area’s farms, fisheries and wandering herds are disappearing, including Lake Chad.
Once the third largest lake in Africa – and a major water supplier for the region’s roaming livestock herds in Niger, Chad and Nigeria — Lake Chad has shrunk by more than 90% over the past 50 years. It is likely to disappear this century, placing the food security and survival of millions of people in the region in jeopardy and intensifying the competition for ever-dwindling natural resources.
Niger is already one the driest places on earth. But in 2005, a particularly severe drought compounded by locust swarms caused much of Niger’s crops to fail. The drought wiped out livestock, which in turn sparked a food shortage that left millions of people hungry and in need of emergency assistance.
Mercy Corps and other humanitarian aid organizations were there to provide help, but the situation is likely to worsen as one of the poorest countries on the planet gets drier and competition for resources intensifies.
-Robert Sherman, Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ Action Center.