WASCAL Seat GHANA
WASCAL TOGO
WASCAL du BENIN
WASCAL SENEGAL
WASCAL Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology
Nigeria Futminna
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY

WASCAL-NIGER | CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY

Master's Research Programs

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY

MRP-CCE

From Köln (Germany) to Niamey (Niger)

After inquiring about the discussions, the doctors explained to me that the pregnant woman’s water had broken a while ago and was about to give birth. They had called for the ambulance, but had been informed them that the ambulance itself was broken and they had no means to take the woman to the hospital. This explained the faces of relief I had seen upon our arrival.

While the Djibrill took them to the hospital, Doctor Nouhou, Doctor Mounkaila, Abdoullah and I went to a shaded meeting area to discuss with the villagers and was informed that the village chief didn’t live in the village but rather in Niamey city.

After some general questions about the village composition we were taken to tour the village and were shown a well that had been in use for 60 years.

You could see the signs of use carved out of the wooden logs, as well as the ingenuity of the people in affixing rolling element to act as pulley system. To draw water from the well, 3 women worked pulling the rope in rhythm with each other so that the rope was in constant movement and no 2 women were pulling at the same time. There were also others that poured the extracted water into the containers and sorted them.

While touring the village, we were told that the main issue they were facing was the lack of water, but projects had been planned and were waiting commencement to solve this issue.

Once the tour was over, we heard Djibrill return on the car. Two of the villagers carried the pregnant woman out of the car. She had died no far from reaching the hospital. Faces that met us with hope and relief were transformed to sadness and grief. I could see the people that had given us the tour and answered our questions fighting tears while telling us goodbye. The rest of the visits to the other villages went accompanied with a heavy mood.

On the next village, we were received with open arms and smiles. And, even if our mood was not the best after the previous visit, we had to go on. This village was located by the river Niger and so they didn’t have issues with water availability but rather their main concern was electricity.

After talking with the village chief, we decided to work with this village, Sekoukou. In which, with the help of the teachers of the village school, the surveys were carried on.

Of the two strikes that happened during my stay, the second one, the one concerning school teachers happened during the time of the field visits. This, even if regretful for Nigerien people, ended up helping me as the teachers had the time to help us. And what had been feared to be a really time consuming part of the research was done in one week’s time.

(From left to right: Djibrill Kimba Souley, Dr. Nouhou Ali, Village teacher, Village’s chief, Village teacher, Chief’s brother, Vittorio Sessa, Dr. Mounkaila Moussa)

Maybe one of the most impressive things that I saw was how the river Niger dried. When I arrived, it was already well on its way to the lowest point, but it was still to dry up further during my stay, process which I was able to witness.

(In the distance: Abdoullah Fahad in white, DoctorNouhou Ali in blue)

On one morning, early as the sun became too oppressive in later hours of the day DoctorNouhou, Abdoullah (the Bangladeshi student) and me, went to the river to see status of it. While there, we saw that earth mounds were being constructed to prevent the river from overflowing. This seemed interesting as the water was quiet far from where they were building the mounds. Which spoke of the truth of the drying of the river.Which could, by then, be crossed by walking across, the deepest part reaching the waist of a tall man.

Another interesting sight was how the vegetation changed the closer you got to the river. Going from arid and sandy to green and sandy. This, in no more distance than what it takes to walk in 20 minutes.

The end of the semester for the students of program WASCAL came before my own visit finished. The friends we had made were going to their own countries to both rest and to conduct their own research for their theses.

As a goodbye, they had organized a football game, followed by a three-course dinner. The Bangladeshi student and I were cordially invited. A football game that started 3 vs 3 soon became a 13 vs 13 as students from other faculties arrived and were invited to join in. And, since no uniforms were available for that many people, we ended up playing skins versus shirts.

(From left to right: Professor Rabani, Hassane _, Vittorio Sessa,

Doctor Nouhou, Doctor Mounkaila and Abdoullah Fahad).

(From left to right: Professor Rabani, Vittorio Sessa, Doctor Ibrahim and Mr. Hama Harouna).

After our (the students from project WASCAL, the Bangladeshi student and mine) participation in the game, we went to our respective room to rest and shower to then meet again for the dinner. An enjoyable night filled with stories, jokes and good food.

(From left to right: Abdoullah Fahad, Vittorio Sessa, Shari Babajide, Amega Kokou)

My stay in Niger coincided with Ramadan. An almost one month long time in which people fast during the day, eating and drinking only once the sun has gone down. During this time, the coconut sellers that had become an almost daily visit for me (coconut having become my snack of preference) had disappeared as the sells dwindled. The night clubs we frequented on the weekends became almost desolate, going from full dance floors and no available tables to empty dance floors and few tables used. But even then, they didn’t close, becoming a welcome respite after a week filled with work.

The weekend before my departure from the country, Ramadan ended. For this, a celebration not unlike Christmas is carried out. Where people gather together to pray and share food and good times. For this day, the Bangladeshi student and I were invited to program WASCAL’s director’s home to share some food.

The director had the kindness to come pick us up at the campus of the university and of dropping us there again at the end.

On our way to his home, we crossed paths with his wife and daughters, who were on her way to visit some family members. The director’s son, who had accompanied his father to pick us up, became a little angry as he also wanted to visit his grandparents.

The director’s home was located on the outskirts of the city, where the roads are still largely made of lateritic materials. That morning it had rained heavily and some of the roads were flooded. The lack of proper, or any for that matter, drainage system became evident. The director even showed us a school where the rain had flooded it completely, from the yard to the class-rooms. He told us that during the storms everything had to stop, sometimes because it rains so hard that you can barely see while driving.

Once in his home we were treated to a really tasty meal consisting of salad, grilled Guinee fowl and French fries, cuscus, rice, an exquisite sauce (that had Guinee fowl as well) that was perfect with the cuscus, and natural juice to drink. We ate in a beautifully furnished living room. There were different dressings and toppings for the salad and fowl, one of those appeared to be a sweet sauce. After trying it, it turned out it was not. It actually was a really hot sauce, and me having absolutely no resistance for hot foods was treated to a burned tongue and runny nose.

At the end the director took us back to the campus wishing us “kayesi” (spelling which I am sure to be butchering).

This highlighted the end of my stay in Niger. The final week filled with preparations for my departure, as well as preparing the final presentation to show the results of my stay.

I found Niger a beautiful country with huge possibilities for development, and the availability of resources to do so. They only need but to tap them correctly. I could keep talking about it but then I probably would never finish.

I leave filled with positive feelings and high expectations of what this country can become; as well as a tan to envy.

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West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use

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