When poverty and traditional practices collide in Niger, the results can be ruinous – particularly for teenage girls.
The competition between energy and environmental needs in Niger has taken centre stage of late, with authorities seeking to promote the use of coal in a bid to halt deforestation in the North African country.
Zeinabou Baba had just about given up on the prospect of living a normal life by the time aid workers arrived in her village of Tera, west of Niger's capital û Niamey.
The year 1980 proved to be a turning point for Niger, marked as it was by a slump in the sale of uranium, the country’s main export commodity. Since then, Niger has experienced a series of economic crises aggravated by drought – causing poverty in rural and urban areas to deepen.