President Mokhtar Ould Daddah of Mauritania -- one of the six African Sahel countries in the grip of the worst drought in the area -- has pledged an agricultural-reform programme for the country.
SV Barge carrying President OUld Daddah
MV Portrait of President PAN DOWN TO waiting officials
SV President and Party walking from river amid crowd
CU Cattle passing through pen after innoculation
CU Veterinary medicines and equipment TILT UP TO Ould Daddah
CU Young calf being given medicine
CU Dried up crop
SV Daddah in open vehicle waving to crowds (4 shots)
CU Camel train with booths on top
MV Women applauding
Cu Ould Daddah
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CU Ould Daddah speaking
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MV Ould Daddah speaking to crowd
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Background: President Mokhtar Ould Daddah of Mauritania -- one of the six African Sahel countries in the grip of the worst drought in the area -- has pledged an agricultural-reform programme for the country.
During a recent tour of some of the worst drought-affected areas, President Ould Daddah said the whole way of rural life in Mauritania would have to be re-organised to prevent a future recurrence of the misery and death that the drought has caused. Thousands of people have died during the drought not only from lack of water but also food.
Traditionally nomadic, many of the people of Mauritania have been forced to undertake long journeys in search of pasture land. Thousands of cattle and sheep have also perished land even more people have died as the Nomads came into contact with town-bred diseases which they no longer had the strength to resist.
The diminished herds are now being treated preciously; medicine and veterinary help being sent from the capital, Nouakchott, to country areas.
President Ould Daddah pladeged that drilling for water would begin in the interior regions near the Sahara for both animals and crops as soon as finance could be raised. However, he said that even with water and money the most difficult task facing Mauritania to ensure drought never hits it as hard again will be the re-education of both farmer and nomad.
Previous efforts by the Government to convince herdsmen to kill some of their animals to preserve water and pasture have failed.