Wells in Guera, Tchad
Tchad is one of the poorest and underprivileged countries in the world. Less than 46% of the Chadian population have access to safe drinking water. To ensure resilient societies, IAS Tchad implements water projects in challenging areas that other organisations have bypassed.
When Ahmed was a boy, he looked after his father’s cattle. Each morning he drove them to the watering hole and then on to pastures. His family was nomadic. In rainy season they traveled north with their herd. In dry season, they returned to the south with all their belongings.
When Ahmed became a young man, he wanted to see more of the world and earn money. He became a soldier. In the army, he learned to read and write. It opened his eyes for the world beyond and he realized how important that skill was. When he came back to visit his family, he realized that there was no one to teach his people to read and write. Teachers preferred to work and live in towns and villages. A dream was born – the dream to help his clan with education and development.
When Ahmed retired from military service, he had earned money and he was given a pension. He went to buy a big plot of land close to a riverbed, where his family used to travel through with their herds. He build little huts for himself and his family. He called his parents und brothers to settle close to himself. They build a little shack as a school. Ahmed payed a trained teacher from a nearby village to teach French. He himself and his son started to teach the children in Arabic.
Ahmed planted mango trees, carefully watering and tending them. He has plans for a bigger garden to create some income. His family cultivates some millet and tomato, enough to get along by.
However, a huge challenge and the biggest problem is the water. During rainy season, there is plenty of water in the riverbed. For a couple months after the rain stopped, they can dig watering holes in the riverbed and still find water beneath the surface. They also dig deeper holes on the riverbank that have water for a few more months, but it does not provide enough water for all the families and their cattle. Therefore, they have to move on with their animals. The children leave, the school runs out as well…
Ahmed’s dream is to have a well that provides enough water to sustain his people and their animals throughout the year. “When you have finished our thirst, we will rejoice and live well.”
Like Ahmed’s place, there are many more settlements of former nomads out in the bush in nowhere land. They have no access to basic health care, education and development. Their lives are hard work and struggle for survival. They travel far each day on foot or donkey’s back to get water for their animals and themselves from a riverbed or a man dug well. There might be water right next to their huts but it is too far below for them to reach it.
The nomads say: “Water is life!”
Your contribution can make the difference in their lives!
In the Guera Region of Chad, many villages are like Ahmed’s—lacking water. People spend most of their day searching for water. Everyone is recruited for the search, from small children to grown men and women. Most people get their water from small ponds or rivers, many of which dry up during the dry season. During these dry months, people must either move to another location where there is a hand pump or they dig in the dry riverbed for water that remains below the surface.
The search for water is time-consuming, but crucial to survival. It takes precedence over other economic activities and even education. In order for these villages to develop according to Ahmed’s dream, they must have water. IAS Chad is proposing a 2-year program to bring clean water, sanitation, and economic opportunities to 5 villages in the Guera region of central Chad. The first year, IAS will drill 5 wells and carry out sanitation programs in each of those villages so that every household has access to potable water and a latrine at the household level. The second year, IAS will form women’s groups in each village with women who now have some extra time not spent traveling to find water. IAS will teach them how to do rotating savings and loan groups and train them in various economic activities of their choice, such as sewing, kitchen gardening, animal husbandry, and the like.
It will cost 15,000USD to do this program in each village for a total of 75,000USD. This program can be sponsored by village or by activity (300 USD for a sanitation program, 500 USD for a women’s group, 14,000 USD for a well). Individuals, churches, businesses, schools, or other organizations can work together to help IAS implement this program in an area where no other organizations are drilling. This is an area where the needs are high but unknown to the outside world. This is an area where men like Ahmed and other village leaders come often to IAS staff and other international workers in the area, asking for help. There are many needs all over the world—this is true, but this is one that can be solved with a bit of outside help. The people are ready to move forward. They want to develop their towns and their families. Will you help us?
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