by Aaron Thacher, the livestock/agriculture and food security program manager for Samaritan’s Purse Niger
Akibbou Abubakar is a father of four who lives in a small rural village along the Niger River. Through Samaritan’s Purse Niger’s Livestock Program, Akibbou’s life has been transformed by the distribution of fishing equipment.
“I cannot express all that Samaritan’s Purse has done for my village,” he said. “Their efforts have supported and helped many people, both men and women. In my case, because of Samaritan’s Purse, I have had fishing gear since 2012 and recently have been given a canoe that allows me to go from one island to another.
“With this fishing gear, I can catch a significant amount of fish, which is necessary for the survival of my family. I can also sell the fish to provide for our other various needs including purchasing food and condiments, hospital care, clothing, my children’s weddings, improvements on our house, and support for other relatives. As for the canoe, it allows me to transport my crops (rice and millet) from one island to another and allows me to carry various items related to income generation. Because of the canoe, I can travel far into the river where the fish are located, unlike fishermen who do not have canoes and are limited in their fishing activities. Thank you so much Samaritan’s Purse!”
Not only does the program support fishermen, but it also conducts livestock distributions, trains community animal health workers, and establishes animal fodder banks to reinforce the capacity of herders.
Haladou Ango is a farmer who lives in a remote village in eastern Niger. After his crops are harvested each year, he has no means of income. He is forced to travel to Nigeria in search of odd jobs to meet his family’s needs. However, when Samaritan’s Purse opened an animal fodder bank in Haladou’s village, he was selected to manage the shop.
The animal fodder bank assures that good quality animal feed is available and accessible to the village at an affordable price. Not only has the animal fodder bank helped improve the health of livestock in the community, but it also has provided an esteemed job for Haladou. He no longer has to leave his family in search of work each year.
“This is a full-time job that allows me to provide for my family,” he said. “Thank you Samaritan’s Purse for this activity that you have created for me!”