Project #10556

Hunger Relief and Support for Sahel Nomads

by Rain for the Sahel and Sahara
Community meeting at Seiga school
Community meeting at Seiga school

Earlier, we shared with you the food relief efforts made possible by your support for the remote community of Seiga in the Tillaberi region of Niger. Here is an update on their progress.

The Seiga community closed the most difficult period of the year for grain availability with RAIN's food aid program. Subsidized sales of the grain provided by RAIN increased access to staple foods while at the same time, generating support for the Seiga elementary school.

Community granaries depleted months after a sporadic harvest and the ensuing food crisis following the 2011 rainy season. During the long wait to the 2012 harvest, vendors sold imported grains in rural markets according to the prevailing market rule: the closer to harvest, the higher the price. RAIN's food aid program aimed at providing reduced-cost food to struggling families that have been reducing meal quantity and quality for months.

After a meeting with School Director, Parent-School Association members, RAIN mentors and other important members of the community, the community decided on a grain price just under half of the market value in order to maximize the programs' benefit to the struggling school, where many nomadic children are fed regularly. The community’s commitment to education impressed us, as had we anticipated a they would set the sale price lower than they did.

Seiga is an incredibly poor community with a history of school setbacks and food crises. Thanks to your support, RAIN bridged the hunger gap before the harvest providing relief from the physical discomfort and emotional drain that hunger brings. This program also directed benefits towards school improvement, drawing families’ attention to the importance of education.

The school earned 405,425CFA, or a little over $800, from the subsidized grain sales. The school staff and community will decide how they will spend this money to support the school in February. 

Seiga children and parents with grain delivery
Seiga children and parents with grain delivery


Here at RAIN, we are grateful for your partnership and caring for nomadic families in Niger who receive little or no assistance from any other source.

On Wednesday October 17th, GlobalGiving will match all donations to RAIN by 30%, providing an exciting opportunity to make an even bigger impact for food security in Niger!

Let's make the most of this chance - share with your friends and family and on your social networks, tell them why you support RAIN, and how they can acheive the good of two contributions with one - then donate as early as you can on the 17th - the matching will at $50,000. Every donation counts, even just $10 - together, we can make this Bonus Day a great success. 

The village of Seiga
The village of Seiga

Thanks to your help, the village of Seiga and surrounding communities in the Tillaberi region of Niger will have access to subsidized grain to help them through the end of what's known as "the hungry season," usually marked as a time of out-of-reach grain prices. As the entire country struggles through a serious food crisis linked to the drought during what should be the rainy season, everyone is waiting for their crops of millet to ripen. RAIN staff noticed families surviving on low quantities of poor quality meals, witnessing several children consuming food normally designated for the animals. Many families have been utilizing their seed stocks for food, leaving them unable to plant beans in their fields. High grain and bean prices leave families in survival strategy mode - selling assets, rationing food, living in a weakened state during the important three-month agricultural season.

This month, your donations funded the delivery by a local grain vendor of sixty 100kg sacs of millet and sorghum to stock a local adobe storage shed, turning it into a temporary cereal bank for the surrounding villages. A committee was formed, which includes the local school director, PTA president and head of the RAIN mentoring group, to establish a price for the grain that is less than half the market value. The aim of this strategy is to direct the generated income to support the local school, while providing access to otherwise inaccessible food. The committee has been meeting daily in preparation for the start of the school year, usually in early October. Many of the children of the families who will be purchasing the grain at the subsidized price will also be benefiting from food at school purchased from the income generated.

Along with Seiga, benefiting surrounding communities include Tooro Tondi and Belkou. The food is transported by foot, donkey and camel to homes in the five mile radius surrounding the local school. Reinforced by a new education awareness campaign led by a group of twenty RAIN mentors, the Seiga school expects to fill their first-year classroom for the first time in years, while being able to offer support to older students in their ability to succeed.

The best rainy season in forty years has the vibrant Sahelien summer looking lush and green, a strong contrast to the difficulties people in Seiga and surrounding communities face while waiting for their crops to ripen. For pastoral communities, new grass growth brings with it the hope of healthy animals, milk and a good harvest, motivating families to work even harder through the end of the season. The food support you've made possible during this uncertain in-between time keeps families strong and allows them to keep more of their food stocks, increasing their ability to recover from this year of crisis. The people of Seiga expressly offer their thanks for your large role in sowing a more food secure future.

Food arrives via truck.
Food arrives via truck.
Food transport by hand
Food transport by hand
Transport via camel.
Transport via camel.
Rakhmou Ifanfan and Aishama Amidi of Belkou
Rakhmou Ifanfan and Aishama Amidi of Belkou
Food aid committee
Food aid committee
Two Belkou girls pound millet.
Two Belkou girls pound millet.
Seiga panorama
Seiga panorama


Sidi Ahmed
Sidi Ahmed

With Your Support, RAIN Provides Food Aid to Nomadic Herders in Niger

Niger is characterized by sporadic and scarce rainfall, prone to prolonged drought punctuated by flooding, and is experiencing hardship from the food crisis currently sweeping the entire Sahel region.

The rural township of Gougaram in the remote Arlit area of the Agadez region is composed of 12 nomadic communities with over 6,000 inhabitants, almost all traditional herders who have lost 65 to 70% of their livestock from drought and lack of food.  Gougaram is among the nomadic communities who are receiving direct food aid from RAIN in response to the crisis.

Recognizing that nomadic families rely on their livestock for both food and income, 4,400 lbs. of wheat and 6,600 lbs. of cottonseed have been purchased and transported to the Gougaram animal feed bank to be distributed to nomadic families at risk of losing their herd animals. Already, several families have had their cattle brought back from the brink with this aid, securing their only source of food at this time.

"On behalf of all the herding families of Gougaram, we thank RAIN and its donors for the help that has arrived at this opportune time. This support allows our animals to survive through this difficult period.  We watched our animals die from hunger daily. "  - Sidi Ahmed, Gougaram herder and RAIN animal feed program volunteer.

The significance of your support at this time cannot be understated: it is a direct result of your kind generosity that these families have some relief from the disaster of losing the animals they rely so much on. Thank you for the great work and look for more about how your support is making a difference for nomadic families.


Your contribution will have a lasting impact for nomadic families in Niger facing food insecurity.

Share with your friends and family - if they donate on June 13th, they will have nearly twice the impact.

Your support of RAIN’s campaign to provide food aid to rural nomadic families in Niger during this time of crisis in the Sahel has helped us get closer to our goal of $10,000 and greater food security. Every donation counts, and we are grateful for your partnership and caring for this underserved population not receiving aid from any other source.

On Wednesday June 13th, GlobalGiving will match all donations to RAIN by 40%, providing an exciting opportunity to make an even bigger impact for food security in Niger. Please share with your friends and family and on your social networks and tell them why their help is so urgently needed at this time.

Thank you for making a difference with RAIN!  We look forward to updating you with stories from the field in Niger.


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Organization Information

Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Whitney Fleming
Manager Communications & Projects
Newmarket, NH Niger

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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