Senegal, 95% of the population is muslim, has celebrated July 31, 2020 the most important festival for the islamic community : the Tabaski, or "feast of sacrifice" (also called Aïd el-Kebir). But this edition 2020 has had to deal with the Covid-19, which, without playing a spoiler, has had significant impact on the preparation but also the celebration of the day.
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Deal with the new situation
there will be No collective prayer this year for the family Diop. If, usually, it is done at the mosque in the morning before the sacrifice of the lamb, the patriarch was thought prudent, given the context, to accomplish it at home, in the family. "I'm old, so I am very careful and limit the raising," stresses Ndiaye Diop, in his seventies, dakar aware of the risks. If some have preferred to pray at home, many believers have, nevertheless, made the movement in the mosques of the country, closed at the beginning of the pandemic and reopened since the feast of Korité (end of ramadan), 23 may, 2020. In order to avoid the spread, washing hands, wearing a mask and carpet individual were de rigueur at the mosque Massalikoul-Djinane of Dakar. The procedures on which the forces of the order were guarding, to the difference of the mosques of smaller neighbourhood where the barriers were not always respected.
To travel a lot, but invitations are limited
Although the minister of Health and social Action, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, has called on the Senegalese people to avoid travel between regions, as " Tabaski is a time conducive to the spread of the pandemic ", the moves have been significant, the feast is a special time of family reunion, the occasion for the Dakar to return to their villages of origin. Shared between the importance of this celebration and the health reality in the country, they have had to deal with the situation, in the image of René Karim Ndiaye : "I used to invite my christian friends at me, but this year I don't want to take any risks, neither for them nor for my family ", says this veterinarian is also a breeder of Ago, in the suburbs of Dakar. Invitations are limited, but visits reduced to a minimum in the circle of family and close friends. Households, therefore, have greatly reduced their output that day, so that it is customary to go visit his neighbors, friends, and other acquaintances to wish them all the best. The children were also of the evening to claim their "ndeweneul" (premieres) in the district. "This year, instead of going to ring the doorbell of the neighbors, it is the family that will give them. It is more safe ! " says the daughter of Mr. Diop, Aisha.
The generosity and sharing as ever
A tradition has, however, no exception to the rule : once you have the sheep slaughtered and cut up, a large part has been retained to be distributed to the most needy, as well as to the surroundings, in particular to christians. "For the Korité, we had not done it because the fear of the virus was more present, but this time the habit has been maintained. It's part of the party. Even if we did not have the ngalakh (porridge prepared by christians at Easter and offered to the muslims) because of the Covid-19, we're still going to give them sheep ! " laughs Aisha Diop.
The breeders are seriously impacted...
The impact of the Covid-19 are being felt well before D-day, at the time of the purchase of the sheep. "This year was special : there was a rush for the purchase of sheep with the first wave of sales 15 days before the Tabaski. People were afraid that there was not enough ", develops the Dr. Ndiaye. Each year, the question of whether there will be enough of sheep arises, but this has particularly been the case in 2020. With the Covid-19, the borders were closed, preventing the grazing of the herds and limiting the entry on the territory of sheep malians or mauritanians, as is usually the case. "The department has established a fund to support farmers in the region helping them with food subsidized, in the absence of grazing ", he says. The closure of the " loumas ", the weekly markets, to limit the spread, has also had a major impact on these farmers, who had more difficulties to sell their beasts.
... despite a broad price range
in Spite of everything, the needs, between 750 000 and 800 000 heads, were met, but it is as many explanations to justify the increase of the sale price of the sheep. "Our sheep are sold at between 125 000 and 1 million CFA francs (between 190 and 1 524 euros) this year, compared to a range of between 80 000 and 1 million 400 000 (between 122 and 2 134 euros) in the previous years ", explains Mamadou Ndiaye, the sheep-fold, Wakeur Sangabi. Some, finding out those prices " a little exaggerated ", have made the choice to buy their sheep in the region. "I bought a 100,000 CFA francs (152 euros) through my cousin in Matam (northern Senegal). In Dakar, it would have cost 175 000 CFA francs (267 euros), argues Younousse, milf dakar, before adding that" surely there are more households who were not able to buy sheep this year than last year ". The purchasing power of consumers has been affected by the deterioration of the economic situation.
The day after Tabaski, there would be more than 150 000 sheep returns (including 60 000 in Dakar), according to Dame Sow, director of the livestock. According to him, the farmers are worried and wondering about the reimbursements of the loans for the period... To limit spending, Younousse, to him, is already thinking of buying in the course of the year a sheep to raise for the next Tabaski, as one in three families in the country.
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