Towards the desert

The Sahel is the transition between Savannah and Sahara desert. The word 'sahel' is derived from the Arabian 'sahil', which means 'shore', the shore of the desert. Living in the Sahel is a toss-up. Desert people (Peul, Touareg and Bella) get the maximum out of the minimum. Agriculture in the sand is nearly impossible. Cows, sheep and goats are on the go, along with their shepherds (or the other way around), looking for water and grass, to be sold eventually on a livestock market.
This is the third and last photo album of our dads' visit to Burkina Faso. Who's next?

La chanson d'Azima
France Gall

Quand le désert avance
C'est la vie qui s'en va
La faute à pas de chance
Ou dieu qui nous foudroie

Et le désert avance
Plus personne n'y croit
C'est notre déchéance
L'impossible combat
Quand le désert avance

Que veux-tu que l'on soit ?
Les femmes Touaregs dansent
Elles-mêmes n'y croient pas

Dans leurs souvenirs d'enfance
Les chasseurs étaient là
Mais le désert avance
Le sable devient roi

Et c'est notre souffrance
Qui coule entre nos doigts
Dans ces dunes immenses
Qui donc y survivra

Mais toi qui vient de France
Où l'on oublie qu'on boit
Dis-leur ce que tu penses
Dis-leur ce que tu vois

Dis-leur quelle est leur chance
Et qu'ils ne la voient pas
Et qu'on meurt d'impuissance
Mais qu'on garde la foi

Que le désert avance
Et l'eau n'arrive pas
Sans cette délivrance
Nous n'avons plus le choix

Dis-leur que la nuit tombe
Sur cette affreuse urgence
Et que c'est sur nos tombes
Que le désert avance

In Oursi, we sleep at the camping place of a smart Burkinese guy. For tourists, it is the most splendid place to spend the night: sleeping in Touareg huts, drinking cold (!) beer, and showering beneath a star-spangled sky.

These women belong to the Bella people.

Gorom-Gorom's Thursday market is a salesmen crossroad. On the first place, cattle is being sold (cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and camels), to be transported and sold again in the capital our in the neighbouring coastal countries.

Last rainy season, the dam of Tourou's barrage lake broke through. Hundreds of people lost their houses, and all the water is gone…

Bani has got its own Moslem prophet who believes to be more important than the one from Mecca. The grand mosque has been built in 1979, and the story is so bizarre that scandalmongers pretend that the only reason for building it was to please tourists and gain money… Howsoever, the mosque is very beautiful.