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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 20 Jul 2005
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Famine in Niger: Security?

Famine in Niger is apparently getting worse. This is of course first and foremost a terrible disaster for the victims. So forgive me if I must also ask: does it pose problems for travelling in Niger? Increased security risks? Recent information from the ground is highly appreciated.

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Old 20 Jul 2005
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Hi Redhouse,

Hunger in Niger is most evident in the southern regions. When traveling through the country last year, I did not notice that it would constitute a security issue. In the south, we camped several times close to villages and the reactions were as normal as it would be expected. But the only tourists we meet here were always making long runs to avoid camping in the wild.

However, it will strike your eyes (and your heart) to see hunger children, virtually no basic water supply system (for instance, in some villages drinkable water is only available from 250ml plastic bags and it is chemically treated), etc., etc.

Personally, I consider Niger a rough country for holydays. Last year I was at work and in some occasions it was hard to deal with the situation.

José
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Old 20 Jul 2005
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Funny how it has just hit the news today. I have heard there have been clashes over food distribution in Agadez - food being flown in from Libya - all a result of last year's locust plagues across the Sahel I believe.
The desert regions are less directly affected because they are pretty barren anyway, but they may be last in the chain.

Ch
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Old 3 Aug 2005
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I was in Agadez at camping Agadez last year when the locusts struck. It's amazing how many there were. At the campground, they were eating everything and the locals were going mad trying to kill as many as possible.

We drove to Amezri in the mountains and we went through at least 50 miles of solid locusts.

It's something else to see and you can understand how much destruction they can cause.
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Old 6 Aug 2005
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one should ask yourself if travelling as a tourist in a famine struck country is the best of choices.......
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Old 6 Aug 2005
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The whole of Niger is not under famine conditions. There is food available, is it just far too expensive for subsistence farmers and their families to afford. As a tourist, your money will be greatly appreciated, as you can afford to eat and will pay desperately needed cash for supplies, etc. You will not be competing for food with starving children. There will undoubtedly be more begging, more requests for donations. With all the foreign aid personnel, the security issues are likely to be better, as the government will not want any more negative publicity. Remember, this is a climate and insect related famine. These people are peaceful and will go back to their homes and families. This is not at all like Darfur where violence has forced harsh conditions into refugee camps full of famine. You will be assisting the Nigeriens if you continue on your touristic plans.
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Old 8 Aug 2005
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KevinMC: My ideas exactly. Just wanted to check for info on the situation.

I have been in Ethiopia and seen famine there. It can be very confronting. But then I ask myself: Would it be better for these people if I stayed away, blissfully unaware of the situation, and spent my money on the Costa del Sol in stead? The answer of course is no.
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Old 10 Aug 2005
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whatever......
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