Niger is sadly one of the world’s poorest countries. However, community-based adaption is reducing extreme poverty and hunger, writes Ibro Madougou Abdoulaye, Head of Programmes for Islamic Relief Niger.
When it comes to adapting to climate change, no one size fits all. That’s why we work closely with communities to understand and respond to their unique circumstances.
It’s an approach that is making a big difference in Niger.
In the heart of the country’s Dosso region is Dogondoutchi district. With most local families dependent on agriculture or livestock, it is on the frontline of the global climate emergency, as its natural resources are increasingly depleted.
Alongside land degradation, rainfall is becoming increasingly erratic. Droughts and flooding are happening again and again. Failed harvests are all too common, leaving many families unsure where their next meal is coming from.
Alarming rates of child malnutrition
One consequence of this is the alarming rates of child malnutrition in Dogondoutchi. I see families unable to properly feed their children, feeding them the same as adults due to poor knowledge of nutrition and also unable to pay for badly needed medical treatment.
Nearly 80% of children in the district don’t have at least four food staples to eat.
With few opportunities to diversify their incomes, save money or invest in more profitable businesses, many households are locked into a downward spiral of deepening poverty and food insecurity.
They’re forced to skip meals or sell off possessions to try to make ends meet. And some leave the area in search of work elsewhere.