In Mali, the River Niger’s inner delta is a tangle of canals, rivers, lakes, islands, ponds, meadows, flood zones and a mosaic of ethnic peoples who live in harmony. A fishmonger is worried: the riverside rushes are disappearing, as are the fish that shelter among them. A herder talks of the big cats that are becoming rarer; of his cattle’s sickness in the face of a 30-year-drought. A boat builder teaches his craft to his son.
The Niger is a living being, not just a surface of water, a complex organism that is slowly dying under our eyes, without our realizing it.