It is believed that between 130,000 to
170,000 people live as nomads in Djibouti attempting to carve out a living with
their sheep, goats and cattle.
Over the past few years droughts across the
Horn of Africa, where temperatures average ninety degrees and yearly rainfall is
less than five inches, have rendered already poor agricultural land largely
unusable and hundreds of thousands of animals have died through lack of water
In Djibouti most land is held by the government however the nomads claim their
pastures through customary rights. Much of that land is now abandoned as the
nomads search for a better existence in an area that is experiencing the worst
drought and famine condition since the middle of the last century.
Despite efforts by the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of
Africa (CJTF-HOA) to build wells to help support Djibouti
Nomads, many are being forced to change their way of life simply
to survive. There has been some criticism of the humanitarian
aid offered to those suffering in the Horn of Africa on the
grounds that providing food relief in itself creates new
problems rather than addressing
When food aid is delivered it tends to be
delivered to traditional nomad families who have sought out
'parked' population centres to receive this food, making the
spreading of diseases more widespread.
There are also concerns that the 'flooding'
of the area with foreign foodstuffs is undermining the
development of the local food economy and releasing governments
from making the necessary reforms required to ensure sustainable
communities with an effective food chain.
Additionally many of the Djibouti nomads, by
definition, are inaccessible and there have been reports of
nomads fighting nomads to secure food supplies provided by this
This video documentary explores the lives of
nomads in Djibouti and vividly illustrates the near extinction
of their lifestyle as they set out to literally find greener
pastures; greener pastures that on a daily basis are turning to