A small troup of Sahelian goats is led home from the bush through a street in Nara by their Peul (Fulani) masters under the last rays of the Sahel sun. I watched this sight for many evenings, sitting at the gate of my house and it was always of the same beauty and serenity.
Sahelian goats have stiff short hair, are bred in a variety of colors from pure white, cream, to red, black or gray sprinkled or pied, gray, brown or black. They are kept primarily for their meat and skins. Their milk is processed very seldom in the northern dry and arid parts of Mali but is offered to visitors in the villages, mixed and thinned with water as a sign of hospitality. The Sahelian goat is a breed occuring specifically in the north and north-west of Mali
It is difficult to grow and plant trees in the Sahel. No tree grows by itself. It has to be watered, protected by fence and pampered like a prematurely born baby, not only for months but for many years. The Sahelians, as the goats are sometimes simply called add another challenge to the complexity of this task.
In planning processes, aiming at sustainable development the simple fact it is often overlooked that it is extremely tiring and exhausting for the ones who have to do it, to protect young trees and seedlings against livestock that has been living in an area for hundreds of years. Even more so if that livestock is the pride of your soul.