In 2019, Côte d’Ivoire faced severe rainfall deficits and drought during the 2019/2020 agricultural season. These extreme weather events affected mainly the centre and north of the country and left thousands of people in a very vulnerable situation. To mitigate this crisis, Côte d’Ivoire, a Member State of the African Risk Capacity (ARC) since 2014, has benefited from a disbursement of USD 738,835 in 2019 and another USD 2,185,100 in 2020 to enable vulnerable populations in these regions to carry out income-generating activities, following the negative impacts of the drought they suffered. We went to Central Côte d’Ivoire, to Bouaké, in the Gbêkê region, to meet these communities. Here are their stories.
The high temperatures and the ambient humidity remind us that we are in the rainy season which affects the whole northern half of Ivory Coast from July to September. At the gates of Bouaké, a dense and luxuriant forest welcomes us. With a little over 2 million inhabitants, it is one of the most populated cities in Côte d’Ivoire and is characterised by immigration from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
Arriving in Bouaké, we head for the village of Somelasou, in the sub-prefecture of Brobo. On the way, the rainforest passes by at high speed. After an hour’s drive we see the first houses in the village. We are welcomed by Michel Amani, an agent at the Brobo social centre. Sitting under a tree, a group of people composed of men and women who have benefited from ARC’s assistance through the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, are waiting for us. Among these people, Adjoua Koffi, is walking towards us with a determined step. A widow and head of a large family, she tells us how the money she received has helped improve her living conditions.