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Mauritania: The refugees putting out fires - and prejudice

As Mauritania faces its yearly bushfire season, a group made up of refugees teams up with the local community to put out the flames and save pastures for livestock. But the region continues to grow more volatile.


Thay may not look like stereotypical firemen, but the refugee brigade in M'bera ensures everyone's safety - and livelihood


In eastern Mauritania, November sees dry winds blow over the flat landscapes of the country. Grass from the past rainy season has turned yellow and white. 

Seated on the back of a white pick-up truck, surrounded by young men in yellow vests, Mahfouz Ould Messaoud seems undisturbed by the sand blowing up as the vehicle makes its way along desert roads. He is used to what he is seeing, yet it doesn't leave him unmoved.

"It hurts us when we see this burnt land. It's like our hearts that are burning. It's as if our house had burned down", he says as he points to a black patch of land; this is where he helped put out a bushfire just a few weeks ago.



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