The villagers of Garbougna -- 170 kilometres (10 miles) west of Niger's capital Niamey -- gathered on Friday (27 April) to perform an old tribal custom during the Festival of Tiaro.
GV Villagers with nets entering water of village pond at Garbougna, Niger.
LV Villagers trawling with nets.
CU PAN FROM Man repairing net at water's edge TO his catch.
LV ZOOM INTO CU AND PAN Two men groping for fish with hands TO group of women.
CU PAN Villagers dragging fish up bank and walk away with fish. (5 SHOTS)
CU Boy stuffing large fish into gourd.
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Background: The villagers of Garbougna -- 170 kilometres (10 miles) west of Niger's capital Niamey -- gathered on Friday (27 April) to perform an old tribal custom during the Festival of Tiaro. Tiaro is the guardian of the village pond, and for over one hundred years the villagers have come together on the banks of the Niger to ask Tiaro for rain and a good catch.
SYNOPSIS: A good catch is the Garbougna's reward for the festival. According to custom they may keep what they catch. Before the Garbougnas are allowed to fish the pond, they must sacrifice chickens, goats and other domestic animals to Tiaro. And their druids then ask Tiaro what kind of weather will he bring the tribe?
Only over the last few years has Tiaro brought the tribe -- and the rest of the country -- good weather. He brought rain. Niger's hot and dry climate -- with average temperatures around 28 degrees (84 Fahrenheit), has caused long and severe droughts which brought Niger to near economic ruin in the early parts of the 1970s.
But now, it's not just the Garbougnas' nets which are bountiful. When the rains came in 1976, a record harvest was achieved, and the government launched a major economic and agricultural development plan. One hundred and twenty million pounds (240 million U.S. dollars) will be spent on construction of the Kandadji dam across the river Niger. A project which will provide Niger with hydro-electric power -- and irrigation. A project, which may be more reliable than the guardian of the village pond, Tiaro.