Niger is ranked as the second poorest nation in the world and it is also one of the hottest countries, where most of the land is desert. The water supply is limited, due to its hot and dry climate. Only 7% of the population have access to sanitation. However, in some rural areas the situation is much worse and can be as low as 3%. Children are burdened with the responsibility to fetch water for their families and have to walk to the nearest well which is most often several miles away. This is a great problem for the overall education of the children. Approximately 80% of the population are involved in farming and agriculture. Heavy droughts effect the growth of crops, which is the reason why Niger is suffering from a ‘food crisis’ affecting half the population. During the rainy season Niger is also prone to severe floods. This is when most of the planted crops are washed away and homes are destroyed leaving families homeless. All of these challenges and more have been a compelling reason for IAAAE to serve the people of Niger as best possible.
What we did
One of our Water For Life engineer from IAAAE United Kingdom traveled to Niger in 2013 and volunteered for a month. As a field engineer, he rehabilitated a total of 58 water wells in Niamey, Tera, Dosso and Flingue. His fluency in french has been a great asset. He had meetings with government officials, contractors and village headmen to brief them about our IAAAE projects.
The WFL engineer also managed two local teams and advised on the rehabilitation plans independently. This helped us integrate external people for our projects and enabled us to have the support as well as trust of the local villagers. At the end of the rehabilitation project the Water For Life and Alternative Energy Committee attended a press conference and had a radio broadcast across Niger.
The rehabilitation of 58 water wells is providing clean water to over 23,000 people. Training to locals have been provided to fix minor issues related to the India Mark II hand pump.