Friday, October 13, 2006
Pictures Can Be Deceiving
One would assume, at first glance that the harsh dry environment of the northern Sahara claimed the life of this camel. But it has actaully rained quite a bit in Northern Mauritania and in other parts of North and West Africa. If you look closely enough, you will see the border of the roadside where this picture was taken. It is likely a large truck hit the poor creature and rendered it food for the other creatures in the desert.
Though water has brought abundance to the desert this year, it has also brought other problems. Where there is water and an abundance of vegetation, there are also pests. The town of Atar where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1999-2001, used to take pride in the abscence of mosquitoes. That was not the case when I visited last week. It was impossible to sleep with the numbers that harrassed me throughout the night. Mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other parasites can bring illnesses to animals and make life difficult for pastoralists. There needs to be a balance of just enough rain for pasture for there to be ideal conditions for pastoralists.