Niger is a developing country and one of the poorest in the world.
Four-fifths of Niger is a part of the Sahara desert, due to the landlocked position of this country without any coasts. Water is a recurrent problem in Niger. Despite the difficulties, the Desert Wells and “Tidene” work in the most challenging part of this
country, the “Tidene Valley”, where few other NGOs operate. Located right on the edge of the desert, the people of this region have little means to get food, medical assistance, or to live.
It’s essential to develop easy access to water not just for drinking but also to enable the growing of vegetables gardens that will lead to essential food security. Local people are self-willed, dynamic and optimistic. They just need support to build or rehabilitate wells that will give them autonomy and enable the development of their valley. With the help of “Tidene” and the support of the donors of “Les Puits Du Désert”, development and food safety will improve population health and education.
We work in 2 zones of the region of Agadez:
– one, north of Agadez, in an area of 100 km north, including the Tidène Valley.
– one, south of Agadez, in an area of 300 km south, in villages and settlements in the town of Aderbissinat, in the desert of the Ténéré.
The Tidene Valley
The Tidene valley is 60 miles long and 25 miles wide. It is located in the Aïr mountains, 50 miles to the north of Agadez. When the nomadic people are in, the population is approximately 16,000 people.
A few villages with small four-square mud-bric
k houses and camps of nomads are scattered between the bush and the sand. Life in the valley seems to be very quiet. Goats are grazing some sparse vegetation while here and there, camels eat the leaves from acacia trees.
This quietness hides a hard life. A cruel lack of water from a shortage of wells.
The pastoral zone
The pastoral area in which we operate is largely located south of Agadez in the town of Aderbissinat. The population consists mainly of Tuaregs (Ifedeyen, Ingadmaw
en, Ichirifen, Ifarayen, kel abarkot) whose main activity is breeding. The area is completely enclosed because no road axis passes there. The means of transport are camels, donkeys or a few private 4×4 vehicles.
All the camps in which we operate are in the Ténéré, the furthest of which is nearly 300 km from Agadez, an 11-hour drive with a good 4×4
The populations of the pastoral zone south of Agadez are confronted with innumerable difficulties related to the constraints below:
There is no water point more than 25 kms. The children are responsible for fetching water and must ride a donkey, spend the whole day going back and forth to refuel the camp. And this to the detriment of their schooling. You have to travel long distanc
es in search of water
Practicing the breeding activity, it is necessary to travel long distances in search of water and good pasture for the livestock,
The localities are completely isolated, which results in breaks in certain vital products (food and consumer goods),
The various and multiple diseases which decimate the livestock favored by the mixing with the herds of the transhumant herders, the natural resources which diminish more and more from where the necessity of a rational exploitation,
The rate of demographic growth of the population, which as at the national level is increasing every year, hence the need to consider the diversification of activities for
future generations through the schooling of nomadic children,
Access to health centers is a shambles for these enclave populations, to go to the nearest health center (Echkar 260 kms from Agadez) you have to walk 2 to 3 days on foot or by donkey since Aderbissinat.
The example of Intawagré
Intawagré is one of the last camps, became a village recognized by the state following our accompaniment. This camp initially of thirty families or 180 individuals w
ho were scattered in an area of about 20 km around the silted well, now has close to 100 families, a village chief, a school, 2 stores and 2 community wells.
The village is 260 kms from Agadez in the desert and nearly 70 kms from the nearest town.
Every family is very poor and has less than one euro a day to live. Only a few have 1 or 2 camels that give milk 4 months a year.
The children found themselves in a straw hut school and had to fetch water from the traditio
nal well that was threatening to collapse. In a very windy area, where the school threatens to fly away at any moment and the children risk falling into the well, we decided to act.
The school, before Now
The well, before Now