The Source, our Annual Review 2019

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Wetlands in the region have long been the Sahel’s, most important natural resources but they are almost everywhere in decline.


Peace and security require adequate water.

To prevent lakes from disappearing in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley, we worked in 2019 with the Maki Batu Union of some 9000 farmers to reduce water needs. The Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel initiative aims to revive wetlands and natural water sources to improve livelihoods, boost food production, reduce conflicts and buffer the region against climate change.

By Fred Pearce

On 23 March 2019, central Mali erupted into violence. Gunmen killed some 160 Fulani herders and burned huts in the village of Ogossagou. The massacre was reportedly by an ethnic vigilante group retaliating against villagers who had joined an Islamic terror group. Other attacks followed. In the aftermath, with protests across the country, the prime minister resigned and the government fell. Jihadism has taken hold in Mali, with the main force, the Katiba Macina, operating out of the remote villages of the Inner Niger delta, a wetland on the edge of the Sahara desert where West Africa’s biggest water course, the River Niger, spreads out across an area the size of Switzerland.

Water scarcity is fuelling armed conflicts in Mali.



Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Wetlands Annual Review 2019

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