Mauritania, located in West Africa, is one of the world’s poorest countries and is ranked 161 out of 187 on the 2014 UNDP Human Development Index. It has a population of 3.5 million people (July 2014 Est), half of whom depend on livestock and agriculture for a livelihood. The southern area of the country is part of the Sahel region, which also includes Chad, Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Niger. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the Sahel is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate variation and unpredictable rainfall, where the annual five to six month “lean season” always brings hunger.
Gift of the Givers has been involved in Mauritania since 2011 and has a dedicated South African staff member based in the country who oversees projects. We have successfully completed three solar powered wells in the south and have annual feeding projects during Ramadaan and at Eid al-Adha at four locations in the country. We have also supported education projects through the donation of solar panels and teaching aids. To date our biggest project has been the building of a mosque in Tiguent, the town located halfway between the capital Nouakchott and Rosso, the border crossing with Senegal.