NGO helping alleviate water crisis affecting communities in north/central Senegal

August 30, 2018 Africa , News , OPINION/NEWS

IFPRI photo



Alpha Jallow



Life is horrendous for the people who live in this semi-desert zone. People here have to trek between 6 to 7 km in search of the precious liquid (water). Correspondent Alpha Jallow visited the area and files this report from Linguere.


Most of the communities are nomads or the traditional Fulani herdsmen. They say they have been facing this problem for more than ten years now. The head of the village Diamantine Antenne took me on a conducted tour of his village.


“Our main problem is water. The nearest borehole from here is ten kilometres. The village had two wells but the first one was destroyed in 2014 and the other one in 2015. We are appealing to the relevant authorities to help us address the water problem. We have no school or health facilities but before you can go to school you have to get drinking water first,” Mousa Demba Dia, head of the village of Diamanane Antenne opined.


Most of the women and elderly children here trek for several kilometers on donkey drawn-carts to reach the nearest borehole. Here too, only a few litres are allowed because the water has to be rationed to allow many families to get their daily supply.


“We are really suffering before we can get water to drink. Sometimes we return very late in the night. Some of our children will go to sleep hungry because we have no water to cook,” Jainaba Sowe an elderly lady explained.


However in the last couple of years these communities are blessed to have the intervention of a British Non-Governmental Organization called United Purpose which is running a disaster reduction programme to salvage these communities.


The NGO has been helping these communities with containers but also teaching them basic methods of hygiene. The organization also supports families with cash donations periodically to enable them to buy food and other household items.


Tony Jansen is the country Director of United Purpose in Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea director explained that his organization decided to intervene in these communities due to the vulnerability of the population.


He added that United Purpose, whose objective is to end poverty in rural communities in Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau, has also helped farmers to acquire farming tools in a bid to boost their annual crop production.


The United Purpose boss further stated that his NGO has been giving out cash donations periodically to help poor families access to basic household necessities.


Despite these communities’ precarious situation and their inability to access social amenities such as water; electricity and medical care, they are becoming more resolved to live in unity and solidarity.






Alpha Jallow

Alpha is a freelance journalist from Dakar, Senegal, having worked for the BBC African Radio service, West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) and Radio France Internationale (RFI).

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