© 2016 / Samuel Turpin


The heat of Sahel

The Barké Diallo family is an agropastoralist family in Mali, in the Mopti region, on the border between the Sahel desert plateaus and the plains of the Niger Delta.
Humans & ClimateChange Stories met them for the first time in August 2017 , when they were still waiting for the rainy season to arrive.


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Ousmane - Son of Djehama, head of the family

He had intended to work in risk management in the insurance sector. But he abandoned everything to return to the land and to practice reasoned and sustainable agriculture.
Ousmane means "young dragon".

Djehamé : 
Eldest in the family
Arkietou :
Ousmane's daughter
Ousmane :
Head of the family

Djehéma - the eldest of the family

She has only ever know a agro-pastoral life in Sofara, and in the plains of Mopti. She has witnessed the transformation of the plains and the desert advance before her eyes.
Djehéma means "The Queen of Himma", a local religious spirit.

Arkietou - Ousmane’s daughter

She grew up in Sofara. She is now studying to become a midwife in Bamako. She wants to return and practice her profession in the countryside. All her friends have left Sofara.
Arkietou means "clairvoyant”


Population : 17,6  million

Capital : Bamako (1,8 million)

Head of State : Ibrahim B. Keïta

 In the Mopti region, 80% of the population lives on subsistence agriculture. Rising temperatures, decreasing rainfall, unpredictable weather, impoverishment of the land, and the encroachment of the desert lead to strong competition around arable land and natural resources, exacerbating cross-community tensions between herders, fishermen and farmers.


But climate change is not the only factor causing tension. The region is facing significant population growth and the arrival of people who have fled the conflict in the north of the country since 2012. The state, unable to contain the arrival of armed groups, has abandoned the area and is struggling to restore its authority.

Without resources and without real prospects, youth are forced to migrate to Bamako or the sub-region in search of economic opportunities. And young boys are tempted by jihadist "adventures" and self-defense militias.

Read the story and meet

Ousmane, Djémeha et Arkietou


The land of conflict


1 241 231 km2


15,2 hab/km²

Pop growth

 3,3 % (2015)

HDI (2014)

0,442 (181/186)


760 USD

Inflation Rate

1,4% (2015)

2,4% of


94,8% of