NEW SCHOOL HERD FOR TAMESNA:
It is sometimes difficult for nomadic parents to send their children to school because it takes them away from their work as herders. We, not only do not want them to lose this skill, but want to bring new ideas to traditional herd management through the children at school. To this end we proposed to try a new breeding program in goats mixing the “chèvre rousse” of Maradi, a smaller breed that produces more milk and more offspring with the local hardier, more nomadic breed, in hopes this will achieve a hardier more productive breed. Friends of Niger responded to our request and funded the purchase of 20 red goats from Maradi to be managed by the school children and provide support for the school. Issouf Bazo (father of five of the school children) will manage the program implicating the children in the care of the goats, a vaccination program, and managing milk for the students and sales of goats for needs of the school.
FODDER BANKS: A nomad’s traditional work is his herd. In recurring droughts many animals die and no one can afford to replace them. To prevent this loss we have created fodder banks in 20 communities. Fodder banks work as the cereal banks do, providing a supply of emergency feed supplements during the annual dry season.
ANIMAL REPLACEMENT: We have purchased more than 550 animals for the Wodaabe and Tuareg to start rebuilding herds when animals are lost in droughts or to help feed infants in times of famine.
VACCINATIONS: Herd health is dependent on regular vaccinations which are a new concept for the nomads, but after a 10,000 animal vaccination program in 2007, they witnessed first hand the value of vaccinations. We have built a vaccination corrals at the Tamesna Center where vaccinations will be offered twice a year.
MOBILE PROGRAM: We are now in the processs of instituting a training program at Tamesna center which will train herders to vaccinate their own animals and send a mobile unit around on a motorcycle to remote areas twice a year to provide medecine for the nomads to vaccinate their own animals.