I arrived in Niger and the land had been destroyed this had been a forest by the time we arrived all the trees were cut and because of that people were suffering this photo is not Sahara desert this is farmland and can you see the shoulders of my friend he’s drooping he’s very sad three years in a row there had been drought and his crop had failed.
When we cut the trees we lose the farmer’s friends the birds the spider the lizard so when i arrived there was more drought you can see the soil is has lost its fertility this is a dust storm and sometimes the wind would bury the crop and the dust would bring many illnesses and you can see even physically it was difficult even the sand was coming into the houses and you can see here
The wind is burying the crop and even the trees and so i was a young man i came to solve the problem i thought this is easy if deforestation is the problem we just plant trees and we planted and planted and planted nearly all of the trees died waste of time waste of money zero impact and you can see the trees struggling and the droughts were very severe you can see the dead cows the very skinny cows because there were no trees there were no insect eating birds.
I was getting very discouraged you can see the grain silo is empty and so people were often very hungry and the women walking so far to get food and some years people died particularly children most years the men left looking for work looking for food and many villages were abandoned and as a young man I was getting very discouraged and I thought maybe i made a mistake this is too hard I’m just going to give up and go home but in my heart I couldn’t give up and I remembered that prayer as a child used me somehow somewhere to make a difference
I know god doesn’t make mistake and one day I was delivering young trees to the villages you can see the trees in the in the vehicle and I was very discouraged because i knew most of those trees would die but i felt god had put me there god had called me there and so i said a prayer i said god please forgive us forgive us for destroying the gift of your creation because of that destruction people are poor they’re hungry they’re frightened but you still love us we’re your children show us what to do open our eyes help us and that that was the turning point.