The Power of a Drop

Having found that the water requirements around their AIRD base were not covered by the Farchana Atlafog drinking water distribution plan the Sub-Office Manager, Mr Halidou Zakaria, took the initiative of bringing together neighbours and friends (including the Sub-Prefect of Molou) to not only reduce this gap but to also create the right conditions for market gardening through access to tillable land.

Following discussions, they drilled two boreholes with a depth of 6metres containing clear water that residents, for whom the need had been urgent, immediately began to harvest.

This initiative was proof of sufficient water within a 4-metre depth of the Wadi bed. The community had up to this point, however, not been trained to extract it during the dry season. After seeing the possibility of undertaking this drilling by hand, AIRD received 15 requests from neighbouring groups to drill for water for gardening purposes, and from 7 villages who requested drilling support for drinking water. AIRD hopes, with additional funding and resources, to be in position to fulfil these requests as there is a great need in the area.

With the availability of more water, Halidou Zakaria then further proposed for the development of a market garden about half a hectare in size, fenced in to protect against stray animals. He requested for the participation and cooperation of neighbours and the wider community. A committee was formed for the successful management of the garden. The land owner of the designated half hectare planted millet and realised a harvest so successful that he was able to store it, in preparation for leaner times. This land owner, an elderly disabled gentleman, was especially pleased as the successful harvest allowed for the return of his son who had left to search for work, as many young men in the area do.

Water initiative by AIRD in Chad

Gardening resumed after winter and turnips, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets, peppers, okra and other local products were planted.

This project enabled achievement of the following:

  • 7 households having taps
  • 38 households having water within a 100 m radius
  • 48 other households able to receive water quickly
  • 101 households harvesting green vegetables for 4 months

Water initiative by AIRD in Chad Water initiative by AIRD in Chad Water initiative by AIRD in Chad

All the above was achievable thanks to the availability of 24,000 litres of water to support a thriving garden, and for use by the community in their everyday needs. This small project has attracted a lot of interest from the authorities and local people, and has filled a gap that raises hope for the community. AIRD funded this initiative with US $14,000 to strengthen existing activities, while allowing other refugees and host populations to benefit from it.

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