Image 1 of 1
© Ami Vitale / Panos Pictures..An old farmers hand rests on teh dry soil in the Affolé region of Mauritania where there is little rain. People are fighting against famine and raising cattle, sheep, goats, and camels was sharply reduced by the great drought of the 1970s and 80s.  The farmers in the village of Bounessa struggle to grow sorgum and rice, often challenging the birds that want a share of the ripening crops. Bounessa is a village of only 61 families, all of one sub-clan and tribe, the Swaqer of the Hel Sidi Mahmoud. The families were once nomadic,  but since they built a dam in 1960, they are settled now.   (Photo by Ami Vitale)