FRW news in brief

    | January 27, 2014

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    1-Tanzania: Land clashes lead to deaths

    Ongoing conflicts between farmers and pastoralists over limited land and water resources are making life difficult for Tanzanian farmers.

    A recent clash between small-scale farmers and Maasai pastoralists in central Tanzania’s Kiteto district led to 10 deaths, according to Inter Press Services.

    Local farmers accused district officials of colluding with pastoralists to intimidate farmers living on the Embroi Murtangosi forest reserve and chase them off their land.

    Kisioki Mesiaya, a farmer in Kiteto district, told Inter Press Services, “It’s no secret; we are being harassed because there are certain people who are getting paid to evict us from this area.

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    2-Mali: Hit with a double crisis

    The area around Bandiagara in central Mali’s Mopti region is coping with two crises: the total collapse of its tourism industry, and successive poor harvests which have led to depleted food stocks.

    There has been a threefold increase in child malnutrition in the village of Nombori, according to local health professionals.

    The tourism industry has collapsed because of the 2012 takeover of northern Mali by Islamic militants, and a string of kidnappings.

    Insufficient rainfall and a disappointing harvest of millet, a regional staple, have exacerbated food insecurity. The government conducted a food security assessment which showed that over 150,000 people in the Bandiagara area will be seriously affected by the food shortage.

    Sally Haydock is the head of the UN’s World Food Programme in Mali. She said, “It’s clear that people have fewer than two months’ stocks after the harvest.” The UN agency expects those stocks to run out by the end of January.

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    3-Mauritania: Rural exodus causes crisis

    For decades, working-age men in rural Mauritania have fled to towns and cities in search of work, causing social disruption in rural areas.

    The international NGOs Caritas and Action Against Hunger estimate that over 75 per cent of working-age men in villages in two regions of the country have migrated to the capital, Nouakchott, and other towns.

    Divorce rates in some rural areas have risen dramatically, and adolescents and children are dropping out of school. The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Rural Development says that this trend has been in evidence for 40 years.

    Mauritania’s government and aid agencies are trying to encourage men to stay at home by boosting rural incomes and food security. They plan to distribute small plots of land and livestock in targeted areas.

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