May, 2013—Jafarou Ali always had the desire to raise livestock. He grew up in a farming family, and crops and animals provided for their needs. But more recently, he has struggled.
Because of insufficient and unpredictable rains, Jafarou has not been able to fulfill his dream. Farmers in his small village of Makera Moussa, Niger, have been harvesting fewer and fewer crops each year, making it impossible to sustain their families for months and forcing them to look for other sources of income.
Jafarou resorted to starting a small business in order to provide for the needs of his wife and four young children.
“My dream was to raise livestock on a large scale, but unfortunately I am left with only a meager number of animals,” he said. “I was obligated to abandon this dream because it was no longer easy for me to find adequate water for the animals.”
The reality is that Makera Moussa has a substantial water shortage. People have to travel at least three kilometers through neighboring villages to reach the closest well.
“It is very difficult at the well because there is always a multitude of women and lots of animals waiting to get water,” said a young girl named Mariama. “At home, my mother is always unhappy with me because I often don’t have enough time to pound the millet that she expects me to. Sometimes she thinks that I am just playing at the well, but in reality, I just have to wait a long time for my turn.”
Makera Moussa was chosen as one of eight beneficiary villages for a integrated community project. In addition to rehabilitating a water source closer to the village, the project also includes nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, agriculture, and income-generating activities.
As one of our teams approached the community to perform a preliminary assessment, it was friendly Jafarou who greeted them.
“We have heard about you!” he said. “We know who you are and have seen the good that you have done in certain villages around here. Please, because of God, come and do the same good work in our village too!”
When he learned about the upcoming project in his village, Jafarou could not hide his joy. “Al hamdou lilla,” he exclaimed, which means, “Praise to God.”
Save the life of a child or adult in a developing country by providing safe water along with health and hygiene education that will help protect them from deadly, but preventable, diseases. Simple and effective water filters, community wells and water storage solutions, and sanitation facilities can all drastically improve lives and open doors to share the eternal hope of Jesus Christ.