According to homosociety, Niger is a country with no real forest. The wood requirement of the Nigerien population relates primarily to fuel utilization: 0.6-0.8 kg / day / person – this corresponds to about 300 kg / year / person. In the years 1958 to 1998 the forest area decreased by 40-50%, of the forest area there is a maximum of 5 million hectares of natural forest and 40,000 hectares of plantations. The wood for industrial use is imported from Nigeria, Benin and the Ivory Coast. The amount of wood used on the holidays is frightening. In September 2016, almost a quarter of the annual requirement for the Tabaski festival was consumed.
In Niger, fishing is carried out on an area of 4,000 km² of water, including the Niger and Komadougou rivers, Lake Chad and smaller bodies of water. It is primarily fishing and not aquaculture. Consumption is around 3 kg / year / resident and the majority of the catch remains in the country for consumption. On the one hand, projects are ongoing to conserve fish resources, but also to improve income security through fishing and diversification in the fishing villages. However, the sustainability of fishing and the security of income generation have decreased significantly.
Conflicts between different economic forms
Conflicts between mobile livestock owners and sedentary farmers are more common in the Sahel region, including Niger. On the other hand, there are also disputes between different groups of animal owners about the use of pasture areas, but especially with regard to water points. The fact that more and more arable farmers keep animals (in the course of promoting diversification of sources of income) also leads to disputes between arable farmers.
In November 2016 there was a violent clash between livestock owners and arable farmers in Bangui near Madaoua. At least 18 people were killed, 43 were injured and several houses were set on fire.
One tries, among other things, to counter these conflicts through cross-border networks of professional organizations, for example Billatal Maroobe.
Food and supply crises
Niger has to deal with droughts and food crises on a recurring basis, which hit the country hard or even dramatically. The food crises affect many regions of the country, and the presence of refugees in the east and west of the country has resulted in an almost permanent stress situation. The causes of the “hunger” crises in Niger are manifold. However, different factors always come together to turn a tense and endangered situation into a crisis or even a catastrophe.
Not only climatic factors lead to these difficulties, but the causes are not infrequently anthropogenic. In the previous year, the rainy season and the harvest gave clear trends in terms of the supply situation with food (especially millet) and grain. In 2009, the state acted at an early stage: own stocks were created and the various partners in development cooperation were able to take action. One of the best food security methodsis the establishment of grain banks. However, this should not hide the fact that grain wholesalers on both sides of the border act – often much earlier – and initiate an artificial grain shortage on the market in order to be able to drive up prices. Another side of a crisis arises in (mobile) animal husbandry. Water scarcity or lack of water leads to considerable and even total losses of the herd. The prices on the animal market then fall so far that the population no longer even receives a sack of grain for an adult cattle.
The SAP program (Système d’alerte précoce) endeavors to inform the population in good time about bottlenecks and price developments in the event of a food crisis; this system is common all over West Africa.
Another type of crisis is flooding in the river regions, which leads to the total loss of the harvest but also of all the belongings of hundreds of thousands of people.
The supply situation in the Diffa region is still crisis-ridden. The large number of refugees from Nigeria (every second resident of the Diffa region is a refugee) keep the situation in the east of the country very tense, exacerbated by attacks by Boko Haram. The area between Agadez, Tahoua and Maradi and Tillaberi also has to deal with considerable supply bottlenecks.
The initiative 3N: ” Nigeriens nourrissent les Nigeriens ” was aimed in its first phase for the period 2012-2015; The aim is to better supply the population from within their own country in order to better manage food crises. The state, the partners in technical and financial cooperation, the producers’ organizations, the private sector, civil society and ONGs are all involved. RECA, the Nigerien Chamber of Agriculture, once again makes it clear that the primary sector is primarily agro-pastoral and that this potential needs to be developed. The initiative will be continued in the years to come.
Another problem is the drinking water supply, even if it has generally improved for the population in Niger.
However, information is seldom disseminated about how the water quality is really going in some places. It is not surprising that the drinking water in Arlit is contaminated by uranium mining.