Pastoralism

A pastoral life

Over two-thirds of people in Chad live in rural areas and many rely on farming, in particular, the raising of livestock.A girl leaning on a donkey in the desert

Some communities still follow traditional methods of raising animals. In drier regions, this can mean wandering across large areas to find fresh pasture for herds of goats, sheep, cattle or camels.

It’s not uncommon for whole families to move around on a regular basis. Households are portable as people use tents for their shelters and carry all their belongings on donkeys or camels.

Nomadic pastoral groups often cope much better in drought years, because they are able to find fresh feeding areas for their animals. When pastoral farmers stay in one place, the land often becomes overgrazed.

Pastoralists who remain in one place often lose up to a third or more of their animals during drought years. Animals die because farmers are too poor to afford grain for their livestock when there is no grazing. And they cannot sell their livestock for a decent price; when food supplies become scarce, few want the burden of more animals to feed.