Rural exodus disrupts social order in Mauritania

January 16, 2014

"For decades in the Sahel, working-age men have left their rural villages to find work in regional towns or capital cities, returning to plant or harvest crops when possible. Mauritania is no exception, but the phenomenon is particularly pronounced here, say several aid agencies, with village after village devoid of working-age men, a dynamic that is starting to have other social implications...NGOs Caritas and Action Against Hunger (ACF) estimate over 75 percent of working-age men in villages across Guidimakha and Gorgol regions have left for towns in the region or for Nouakchott, the capital. They pick up work on construction sites or at the ports in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, take up labour in agricultural hubs such as Rosso, Kaédi or Selibaby, becoming horse-and-cart drivers, or take up petty trading."