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actualité | 15 Mai 2018 | | Emergency

ACTED’s response to the agro-pastoral crisis in Northern Mali

Animal fodder distribution (March 2018 – Ménaka), ACTED 2018

Distributing animal fodder: an emergency and most needed solution to prevent livestock mortality and the loss of livelihoods

Food insecurity and malnutrition rates have been increasing in Northern Mali throughout the past year. As the agropastoral crisis worsens with the soon to come “hunger gap”, ACTED increases its support to vulnerable agro-pastoral households in the North, thanks to OFDA’s support.

Exacerbated vulnerabilities during the lean season

In Gao and Menaka regions, most pasture areas are reachable only from August to December. Consequently, in January, breeders usually choose transhumance as a way to ensure their livestock’s survival. The trip weakens the physical condition of livestock and contributes to heighten inter community tensions around natural resources management on the routes. Apart from transhumance, another coping strategy for breeders is to grow their own fodder, and store it in prevision for the hunger gap, in order to sustain livestock’s body condition. However, the price of bourgou (main fodder used in the targeted regions) has nearly doubled in Gao and Menaka since 2017, and has now become too expensive to represent a fair alternative to transhumance. Finally and as a last resort, some breeders sometimes have to sell their animals, usually at a lower market price due to their poor body condition or to the low level of demand on markets.

Distribution of cattle feed in response to the current agro-pastoral crisis

Worrying projections have showed a high likelihood of worsening food security, especially in the North of the country, coupled with above-normal mortality rates for livestock due to the lack of pastures and water sources. In order to protect these sources of livelihoods, ACTED organised cattle feed distributions that took place earlier than initially planned in order to respond to immediate needs. These distributions benefitted 2,000 vulnerable livestock owners living in Gao and Menaka region. 180 tons were distributed in total, including 100 tons of millet bran and 80 tons of cattle cake.

180 tons of fodder distributed

2 000 livestock owners supported

Supporting livestock’s health to strengthen pastoral household’s livelihoods

Since September 2017, ACTED is implementing a multi sector project in Gao and Menaka region, with USAID/OFDA’s supports. Alongside economic recovery and increased access to water as well as disaster risk resilience, the project has successfully provided support to 2,000 pastoral households. These vulnerable livestock owners received most needed animal fodder that will help them sustain their animal’s body condition during the lean season. In addition, ACTED is building the capacity of 300 Community Animal Health Workers in identifying and treating livestock diseases. Under ACTED’s supervision, these workers have already treated 81,925 animals as of march 2018. Finally, 50,000 cattle heads have been dewormed and their owners sensitized on animal health between December 2017 and February 2018.

“My name is Rahinatou Ikna, I come from Moudet village in the Bourem town. I am really glad I received cattle feed, even more with this early lean season during which cattle’s needs are already felt.This year, rainfalls were not good at all. We just have to observe cattle’s conditions in the circle of Bourem to notice that the situation is quite difficult. And we still are at the beginning of the lean season! Cattles suffer because of the lack of pastures. To face cattle’s mortality the main breeders are going on transhumance in the direction of areas where pastures are still available. And us, small breeders, are seeing our cattle dying, powerless.Thanks to this millet bran and cotton cake, I will be able to sustain the health and fat of my three sheep and to ensure my children’s food security through the milk of two of my sheep.”

The contents are the responsibility of ACTED and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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