In more or less two months the herdsmen are going on transhumance again: They will drive their cows and goats through various landscapes in order to find grazing areas and water sources. The rainy season has already in ended in Burkina and soon there won´t be enough resources for all herdsmen and their animals.
This special form of Extensive migratory herding is very common in West Africa. Herdsmen are even crossing international borders with their herds and are up to six months on the road. Like for them is difficult. With little money per months, 30.000CFA or 50.000CFA (40-85Euro) per month they face harsh circumstances. They sleep outside in all weather, mostly without any shelter. They won’t see any villages for several days. They are easy victims for bandits and criminals who are especially interested to steal their animals.
I bet, you just like me, have many questions about this fascinating lifestyle. For instance: Where is their family? Isn’t it too boring all alone? How to manage in different countries, where they don’t know anybody and don’t speak the local language? And what do they eat?
Concerning the last question, I got an idea yesterday when I visited the field and had the chance to speak to a wealthy animal-owner. “Lakile” is what many herdsman love and what they eat during their journey. It is a mix out of millet, couscous and sesame. You mix it with milk (of what they have enough thanks to their cows). So the advantages are: You only need cold milk to prepare it, no fire needed, rich in vitamins and carbons and – I´ve tried it myself – super tasty!