PROTECTING AN ANCIENT WAY OF LIFE IN THE SAHARA NOMADIC PASTORALISTS get new opportunities for income

Nomadic pastoralism remains an essential part of life in the Sahel, where more than 60 percent of the population is involved in livestock farming.

Nowhere is this more ancient way of life more vibrant than in the desert nation of Mauritania, where pastoralists dressed in long robes guide their cattle, camels and goats across the golden sand of the Sahara.

Moving past weather battered villages and brightly patterned tents, these herdsmen are protecting a centuries old tradition, but one that is becoming increasingly threatened by severe drought, rising poverty and rural to urban migration.

photo © Geraint Rowland

A new GAFSP investment in Tiviski Dairy, the largest employer in the dairy sector in Mauritania, is about to offer new opportunities for income to members of the country’s pastoralist community.

The investment is a $9.5 million blended finance solution from IFC and the Private Sector Window of GAFSP to help Tiviski—which means ‘spring’ in local Arabic—modernize, diversify and expand its milk production.

photo©EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

Implemented over a three year period, GAFSP’s investment in Tiviski Dairy is expected to deliver strong development impact across the dairy value chain in Mauritania. The joint investment will help meet robust domestic demand for dairy, position Tiviski as the market leader in fresh pasteurized milk, and create export potential for niche camel milk powder products.

Over 2,000 livestock herders from across the Mauritania Sahara, fifteen percent of whom are women, will supply milk to Tiviski through this new investment. The company, which has a milk collection capacity of 42,000 liters per day, has two collection centers in the cities of Rosso and Boghe.

In turn, the company will generate an additional 200 jobs through the expansion, and help ensure food safety through the provision of pasteurized milk. Before Tiviski started operation, fresh milk was not marketed at all in Mauritania, save for a few thousand liters sold raw by herders, who lived near the cities, or to small-scale milk retailers.

©EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie
Investment in the Tiviski Dairy will help ensure food safety through the provision of pasteurized milk.
photo © Sylvain Cherkaoui/DFID/ECHO/ACF |

HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT THE LIFE OF PASTORALISTS IN THE SAHEL?

Dubbed the ‘ground zero’ for climate change, life in the Sahel is rapidly drying up as pastoralists compete amongst each other for dwindling water, vegetation and pasture.

For centuries, nomads across the Sahel—which borders parts of Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, among others—have moved hundreds of miles to find pasture to feed their herds. But in recent decades, a string of severe droughts has led to severe impoverishment and food insecurity among these nomadic communities. Dwindling water has led to the widespread death of cattle, stillbirths of calves and reduced milk production.

Already on the margins of society, climate change presents a particularly acute threat to life for pastoralists. Incidents of land conflict are on the rise as the nomads cross more borders on the search for pasture and water. Thanks to GAFSP’s investment in Tiviski Dairy, some of the hardships imposed by climate change on the pastoralist community in Mauritania will be eased through their ability to increase income through direct sales to the company.

Climate change presents a particularly acute threat to life for pastoralists.

Thanks to GAFSP’s investment in Tiviski Dairy, some of the hardships imposed by climate change on the pastoralist community in Mauritania will be eased through their ability to increase income through direct sales to the company.

$9.5 million investment

will help Tiviski expand production.

2,000 livestock herders

will supply milk to Tiviski.

Global Agriculture and Food Security Program is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security.

International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on leveraging the power of the private sector to tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.

Thanks to photographers who helped us tell this story: © 'Herdsman' by Tobias Mandt | © 'Street Scene Mauritania' by Geraint Rowland | © 'Mauritania: Reversing under-nutrition, advancing children's rights' by Sylvain Cherkaoui/DFID/ECHO/ACF | © 'Mauritania Village Struck by Drought' by John Isaac/UN | © 'Tackling under-nutrition in Sahel' by EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie | © UN photo/AID/Purcell | © Thomas Bauer/IFC | Zain A.B - "camel" | M1key.me - "Tea in the Eye of the Sahara" | maxos_dim - "desert camels arab mauritania" and Neil Palmer of CIAT

Credits:

Created with images by Zain A.B - "camel" • M1key.me - "Tea in the Eye of the Sahara" • maxos_dim - "desert camels arab mauritania" and Neil Palmer of CIAT

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.