A British aid agency, Christian Aid, is providing a fleet of 20 Landrovers and three lorries for use in the Sahel area of Africa, which has been severely affected by drought.
GV TILT DOWN Salisbury cathedral to Landrovers
GV Landrovers ZOOM IN TO CU sign "Trans-Saharan Drought Assistance Mission"
SV PAN & SV CU Major Rutherford (2 shots)
MV Dean commissioning convey
SV PANS Landrovers and trucks drive off (4 shots)
Initials BB/0056 CG/DW/BB/0104
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Background: A British aid agency, Christian Aid, is providing a fleet of 20 Landrovers and three lorries for use in the Sahel area of Africa, which has been severely affected by drought. The British army is cooperating with Christian Aid by providing forty volunteer drivers and mechanics.
The convey is to drive through France and Algeria, crossing the sahara desert, to deliver the vehicles in Niamey, capital of Niger, in Mid-November.
The vehicles will be used for a cattle vaccination campaign, sponsored by the United Nations. Niger, Upper Volta, Mauritania, Senegal, and Chad border the Sahel and nomadic tribesmen in these countries have been particularly affected by the drought. They depend for their meagre livelihood on their herds, which have been decimated by the drought. What animals have survived are now threatened by disease.
In their move south from the encroaching desert, the cattle have been exposed to sleeping sickness and other diseases, and there are fears that they may return to their former lands with the disease, creating and epidemic.
An Inter-Governmental committee set up by the drought stricken countries has requested the vehicles, which are worth more than GBP 52,000 ($130,000).
They were commissioned and blessed at Salisbury cathedral in Wiltshire, England, before they left on their 5,000 mile (8,000 km.) journey. The convey is under the joint command of Major Ken Rutherford and David Smithers.