Zinder Niger Zinder Niger West Africa Friday, October 6, 2006
11 Hour in a bus, 9100 CFA and I have traveled from Dosso to Zinder in relative comfort compared to the Peugeot Cattle Cars. A full size bus even with no air conditioning is more comfortable.
I miss Natitingou, Benn, Niger is obviously mentally at the bottom of the HDI Human Development Index, and it is a drop of the ball here.
Dry and lot of Millet, the amount of acres farms here seems to have doubled. However, it is almost only the Mil or Millet crop, but grown on what I would say is a commercial level.
I am thinking, why does every French ex-colony here sell Baguettes and Benets, the French food. These countries are locked in a mindset. The malnutrition problem, maybe worst in Niger is really all the countries. I think it is easier here to drive and find the people, while in Benin, Togo, Ghana or Cote d’Ivoire it would be difficult to go into the bush or logged areas. Niger is very flat, so are the other countries, but the water is more prevalent and the people can live in difficult locations because there is more water.
The food groups are almost the same, less in Niger, but not substantial, in fact they have more beef and goat for sure. They have donkeys and oxen for carts. It seems in many ways more advanced. The food West Africa grows to eat is probably what the French planet; I do not see much adaptation to anything. There are so many peppers it is ridiculous, if I understand correctly one of the first and primary reason to come was to get spices, and lots of pepper. It is all but worthless here, but they still try to sell it.
I am going to meet with a man by the name of Josef with the Eden Foundation, then get on a bus and go to Ghana or Burkina Faso.
I do not need to see Niger again to know the problem here with malnutrition; all the countries I have visited in West Africa have the same problem. I am not so positive on Cote d’Ivoire, seemed like better farmers.
The farming need to change, they need to grow many crops instead the same they have been doing for years. The problem the western countries see is not a problem for the Niger people, a high percentage of children have always died, which is normal. Therefore, there is not problem here in the minds eye of the culture, just in the mind of the NGO ONG and anybody that thinks it too high of percentage. On the other hand, the Vitamin Deficit children are some very slow brains on the planet, getting them the last place of the HDI.