This photo, which shows a donkey pulling water, clearly shows the depth of the well and illustrates the problem of the lack of water and especially drinking water in the village of Missirah Tabadiang. The well is over 35m deep. Water is drawn directly from the well for personal consumption, but a donkey is needed to draw water for livestock.
There is no running water in Missirah Tabadiang, and a well is the only way to get water nearby, but well water can cause stomach upsets and even death. It causes health problems for villagers and animals alike. When it rains, the water runs off and washes away everything inside, polluting the water drawn from it. During the winter, for example, water from fields that have been treated with fertiliser runs into the well.
The village of Wassadou is too far to fetch the water, so every morning at six o’clock, the women draw the water, then leave it to stand with bleach in basins, then filter it before we can drink it.
There used to be a garden where women’s groups could grow crops. But because of the lack of water, they now cultivate behind their homes individually. As they can’t help each other (for example, looking after the field of a woman who’s away), yields are lower. They have less income from market gardening and less produce to feed their families. Water is a huge problem for crops, even though the land is very fertile at Missirah Tabadiang.
There have always been problems with water in Missirah Tabadiang, but over the last six years, things have really got worse. In 2020, the water shortage was such that you had to travel 15km from the village to wash your clothes and water your animals. A hand pump had been installed, but the water was spoilt anyway. To tackle the water problems in Missirah Tabadiang, a plea was made first to the mayor, then to the sub-prefect and to the NGO Word Vision for a borehole.