The carcass of a cow lies on the trail leading to Bermo. (Photo: AFP/Marco Longari) It was noon and 45 degrees Celsius on the ninth day of their quest to reach new pastures. There was no tree anywhere, no shelter at all for his family, 27 sheep and six camels. “We heard that the first rain has fallen in the north. That’s where we’re going,” the turbaned herder said, as he filled up a water bottle at the side of the road. An arduous trail lay ahead: more than 100 kilometres across the arid wastes of southern Niger before the family reached their goal. There at Bermo, they counted on joining thousands of other herders, spending a few months in verdant hollows on the edge of the Sahara, famous for their moist air, juicy grass and water. The annual migration of the nomadic Fulani community – also called Peuls – is a vast caravan of herder folk that tails back to neighbouring Nigeria. Women and children perched on donkeys already overburdened with bags of jute, plastic containers, mattresses and gourdes. Scrawny cows, sheep and goats trailed alongside in the baking heat, looking exhausted. VULNERABLE Nomadic herders are among the world’s… Read full this story
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