Prepared by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation - Africa Desk
Sahel region in Africa faces two major problems today. Due to weak rain fall, countries in the region are under threat of seasonal drought and food insecurity. On the other hand, refugee flow from Mali to neighboring countries (Mauritania-Burkina Faso, Niger) is growing because of armed conflict in AZAWAD region between Mali National Army and rebel groups. This observation report has been written after Mauritania-Mali border zone trip conducted by IHH Foundation to provide food aid and to evaluate results of drought in the region and refugee situation on the border of Mali.
As observation team, during one-week trip, we have travelled by road from capital Nouakchott to the town of Nema, in the eastern part of Mauritania. Later, we have moved to the town of Bassikunu, 60km. away from Mali border. Then we were able to reach Mberra refugee camp on the border established by UNHCR. During our 1600 km. trip to the region, we found chance to see effects of drought and water shortage on people, animals and vegetation. We also found chance to listen residents of Mberra refugee camp which accommodates currently 62 thousand people fleeing from the cities of Gao, Tidal, Timbouktu in AZAWAD region of Mali .