Water is the key to survival for both humans and animals. Despite the largest aquifer in Africa being under Darfur, people have to walk many miles every single day to collect every drop. We do all we can to raise funds to provide handpumps – and to repair existing ones that stand unusable in the desert. Where possible we also aim to provide submersible pumps which provide water for more people. Anything we can do to help people reach water is life saving. Even our tree seedlings need help – our water carts are transforming the delivery of water to the community forests and to children at local schools!
The problems of dirty water are endless. Even in the regional capital of North Darfur, El Fasher, water is contaminated. It is collected from the ‘lake’ (which dries up in the summer), or from hand dug wells which animals also drink from. It is delivered by horse or donkey carts. Children are often the ones to collect the water.
Hand dug wells can be seen in many areas of Darfur, but these are shallow and in years of drought dry up entirely. Last year was a year of widespread drought. All surface water in North Darfur dried. Drought resulted in almost total failure of the crops and many children died from starvation in the villages. Even as early as February there were children suffering from severe malnutrition in the main teaching hospital in El Fasher. Many of those who did not reach hospital did not survive. In one village alone we were told that 50 children died from malnutrition last year.
Handpumps are often the only way the aquifer under Darfur can be reached, but this has to be sourced through a geophysical electro magnetic survey and then drilled. Virtually the only hand pumps that have been installed since the violence started in 2002 have been for the vast IDP camps. People are still walking miles for water. It is heartbreaking seeing children in such need.
Clean water is maintained by creating a hedge around the handpump. A narrow concrete channel is then built beyond the pump to a trough for the goats and donkeys. And, if there is sufficient water, run off is often used to plant tomatoes, okra, watermelons and other vegetables, often for the first time.
It is important to remember however, that not all water accessed through drilling is fit for human consumption. Sometimes the source can be saline or too high in chemicals. This is frustrating and desperately disappointing when hopes are high, but it cannot be prevented or predicted. Luckily to date this has only happened in two village areas, and alternate sites have been found with clean potable water.
We desperately need help to fund more handpumps and to repair existing ones that sit idle. There is no sight more tragic than seeing a handpump broken near a village. Hopes dashed, and people helpless to do anything about it themselves.
We are currently seeking funding for our water projects. If we do not have the funding, we cannot give the go-ahead for work to commence! Water is the key to everything we do and, however long it takes, Kids for Kids is committed to helping villagers get better access to water so that children do not have to walk for miles across the desert sands of Darfur.
Thank you so much for your support.