| Pastoral associations in Chad |
The PAs clearly play a positive role in the community during normal years, but the extent to which they really have become part of the agro-pastoralists' survival strategies remains to be seen. It is too early to answer this question. But what will happen if a succession of drought years arrive? Will the PAs continue to function? Will the accumulated capital be divided between the members in order to help them to survive a little longer (which would already be an improvement)? And will they then start all over again once the drought is over? Of course, it has to be acknowledged that nothing is likely to help agro-pastoralists over a number of consecutive bad years. Therefore Ishtirak can only really be judged on its effects in moderately bad situations (e.g. a bad year after several better years).
The agro-pastoralists are at a disadvantage during a drought compared with pastoralists. The pastoralists know their way around in the southern part of the country when it comes to grazing and water, whereas the agro-pastoralists only move southwards once in so many years. This means that they are less welcome there and will have difficulty in securing grazing and water. Especially now that during the last ten years grazing has become scarcer in the south as well. Therefore one possibility would be for the Ishtirak project to work on this issue of grazing rights in the southern part of the country together with the PAs.