The Agadez region is the largest in Niger, covering an area of 667,799 square kilometres. Located in the Sahara desert, the region has a dry, arid climate. It is sparsely populated, with 647,252 inhabitants in 2022 (according to the Agadez Regional Council). As the region is vast and infrastructure is limited, access to basic services for communities in the most remote areas is challenging.

As part of its community stabilisation programme, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports the resilience of host communities along the migration routes in Agadez by strengthening social cohesion, livelihoods, and access to public services. In this regard, IOM has identified community liaisons who ensure the implementation and monitoring of the programme activities. Present in all the communes of the Agadez region, they also cover the less accessible areas of the region. Mohamed, Ahmed, and Mamadou are community liaisons in the communes of Gougaram, Dannet  and Ingall. Today, they share their daily lives and challenges in the field.

I have to make regular visits to the different sites

Mohamed Ihy Atchaghol - Gougaram (distance from Agadez city 170 kilometres) 

"I am a community liaison agent in the rural commune of Gougaram. I am based in Gougaram, and I cover 30 surrounding villages. I check if the programme activities are going well and help the community monitoring committees implement activities. I also write reports on the activities, illustrating them with photos. Access to the sites is not easy. Some sites are very remote, especially those where we have community members doing income-generating activities (IGA) through the community stabilisation programme. I am obliged to make regular visits to the different sites to guide communities who are implementing IGAs in setting up and managing their projects. Sometimes you have to travel 45 kilometres from one site to another, others 50 kilometres or even 90 kilometres. The roads are really bad, so it usually takes one hour to do 20 kilometres."

Ahmed AG Abakada - Commune of Dannet (distance from Agadez city: 225 kilometres)

"I am the interface between the people and the community stabilisation programme in Dannet. I monitor the organisation of the steering committee's meetings that are held every month. Set up in each commune of Agadez, the committee identifies projects that the community stabilisation programme can fund to support the community's resilience. The community stabilisation programme operates in 32 villages in Dannet. The commune of Dannet is relatively large, covering 48,618 square kilometres. Therefore, we have intervention zones located 150 kilometres away from the commune's main town – that is a 6-hour drive. Distance is a real constraint when making field visits to meet communities and collect information on the activities carried out by the community stabilisation programme. On average, I make a field visit to the villages of intervention three to four times a month. Communication is also often complicated. We have regular interruptions in the telephone network. No calls, no internet. For example, we can stay two to three days without a telephone network—whole days when we are cut off from the world.

Mamadou Amadou - Assamaka (Ingall commune) (distance from Agadez city 451 km) 

"Assamaka is a strategic area as it is located on the border with Algeria, and a large flow of migrants passes through this area. But operations are often difficult because we struggle to communicate with the 'outside world'. The telephone network is very unstable and can be interrupted for days. As with everyone in this region, the distance is a huge challenge. We have three intervention hamlets 60, 70, and 80 kilometres apart from each other, we travel at least 3 hours to go to one village. I visit each village once a month. Despite these challenges, I am proud to say that we manage to do our job properly, and it is without being pretentious, I can say that the community liaisons are an essential pillar of the success of the community stabilisation programme. We are proud to contribute to the well-being of communities and migrants."