In West Africa, for many agro-pastoralists –so-called “transhumant” peoples—the season of migration has begun. Similar to Swiss farmers who in summer move their livestock to the alps to benefit from the lush mountain pastures, transhumant groups around the world follow a pattern of seasonal migration. They migrate to different grazing areas because their local pastures only provide sufficient food during a specific season. However, the borders of these grazing areas are often not clearly defined and can even stretch across different countries.
In recent years, cross-border migration of transhumant peoples in West Africa has repeatedly led to tensions between sedentary farmers and transhumant agro-pastoralists. The reason is that both groups lay claims to the same territory and natural resources, such as water and grazing land. In the region of the Abdoulaye forest in Togo, where VSF-Suisse has been working for years, transhumant migration has also constituted a problem in the past. As a result, conflicts between transhumant and sedentary farming groups arose. This year, VSF-Suisse has taken measures to facilitate a peaceful coexistence of all parties.
So wurden zum Beispiel Korridore um den Abdoulaye-Wald errichtet, welche den Nomaden und ihren Tieren einen sicheren Weg um die landwirtschaftlichen Nutzflächen bieten und gleichzeitig der sesshaften Bevölkerung die Unversehrtheit ihrer Grundstücke garantieren. Zusätzlich wurden den verschiedenen Gruppen Wasserstellen bereitgestellt und die Gemeinschaften in der Region bezüglich möglicher Probleme aufgeklärt. So kann der Ausbruch von Konflikten vermindert werden.