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Belgium supports FAO in protecting the productive assets of displaced Nigerian herders in Goura, Cameroon

Belgium supports FAO in protecting the productive assets of displaced Nigerian herders in Cameroon

19/04/2019

Following attacks in the village of Rann in northeastern Nigeria in January 2019, which hosted more than 35 000 IDPs, 80 000 Nigerians fled to the Logone and Chari region in Cameroon’s Far North. Population movements increased towards the site of Goura, where makeshift camps were set up. During end of February–mid-March 2019, about 80 percent of Nigerian refugees returned to Rann. However, about 9 500 remained in 51 settlements around Goura, with host families or in makeshift shelters. With a significant proportion of herds remaining in Cameroon and taking into account the animals of local communities, which were affected by the arrival of the animals of refugees from Nigeria, the livestock around Goura remains close to about 15 000 cattle and 250 donkeys.

An FAO needs assessment indicated that some of the refugees had fled with their cattle, but that a number of animals were lost during displacement, and those who survived suffered poor sanitary conditions. The sudden arrival of the animals did not allow for the establishment of the quarantine system – the clinical observation and treatment before herds enter local communities. In addition, the scarcity of natural pastures and pastoral and water resources has created strong competition and tensions with host populations and local communities. Some pathologies have also been reported in the area, particularly affecting cattle.

Thanks to Belgium’s contribution of USD 100 000, through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation (SFERA), FAO is assisting 4 000 people (Nigerian refugee herders and host community members) in Logone and Chari. Activities include (i) veterinary care for 20 000 animals (vaccinations and vitamins), (ii) the establishment of human-powered boreholes equipped with linear waterers to improve watering for the animals of both refugees and host communities, and (iii) the provision of protein supplements (cottonseed cake) and lick blocks enriched with minerals to improve animal nutrition.

The project contributes to social cohesion by protecting the livelihoods of displaced pastoralists and host communities while reducing competition for limited natural resources. Eighty (80) percent of local populations are engaged in pastoral activities, which is their main source of income and savings. Improving the health and nutritional status of animals will help safeguard the productive assets of beneficiary households, thus contributing to strengthening their resilience and reducing conflict between refugees and host populations.

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