Archives pour la catégorie WASH

A New Stream of Hope

With the support of the US Fund, UNICEF has built 3 water pumps for a population of 4,000 people

By Diguera Azoura

« I named my daughter Radiyé, which means ‘I accept’ in Arabic, because I delivered the baby easily only a few hours after having drunk the stream of water coming out of the new pump. With this first name given to my daughter, I want to illustrate my enthusiasm and gratitude as we will be able to start another life thanks to the water pump”, proudly says Khadidja who stretches out her arms to get her newborn out of baby’s cradle.

Khadidja's removing her baby (Radiye) out of her cradle

At 31, and although she might look older, perhaps because of the vicissitudes of her life, Khadidja recognizes to be filled with joy, especially since she has gained easy access to water – as the new water pump is only 300 meters far from her house. Giving us her daughter, a beautiful 13-day-old baby, she continues to tell me stories from the past, when she had to walk long distances to get water, the elixir of life.

« Before, I was obliged to walk at least 5km to get water from the nearest Wadi[1], and that even when I was pregnant and about to deliver. It could take me by then more than 2 hours for the round trip”. Something that is not easy for this mother of 7 children aged 2 to 16 years, which would then lock the smallest ones at home before leaving for her daily chores. « It would break my heart every time I locked them up in the house alone, but I had no choice, » she explains, a little saddened.

Khadidja fetching water from a jar at her house

Khadidja has lived for 6 years in Haya Zouhour, a village in the periphery of Guéreda, which has received UNICEF funding for a drinking water tower. Since her arrival in this locality, things have not been easy for her life, she told us. « At the beginning, I swap with my two children (aged 10 and 12) to fetch water from the Wadis. But for almost four years, Khadija is bearing alone the heavy daily load in addition to other household chores, as she has decided to let her school-age children continue their studies.

Indeed, Khadidja’s eldest son, who is 16 years old now, still remembers the journeys to fletch water to a water pump located 6 KM far from his village. « Back then, we would go to fetch water in the Wadi with my sister Hawa (14 years), and  spend 1h to go and 1h to come back, without taking into account the fact that we had to queue at least 2h to be able to get only 60 liters sometimes ».

Khadidja Adam and her baby Radiye

For almost two weeks now, all these difficulties have become just bad memories for Khadidja’s family but also for most of the families in Haya Zouhour. This is the case of Koubra, Khadidja’s neighbor, whose child died from a water-related disease. After a long sigh, her head lowered – probably hiding tears – she adds: « We did not know that the water of Wadis was contaminated and contained bacteria, and this despite its bad clay taste and its dark color. I only understood this when I saw my 11-month daughter dead in my arms following acute diarrhea.”

Trying to be supportive, Khadidja passes her hand over Koubra’s right palm and says: « A drop of water is enough to create a world they say, and ours has just been recreated thanks to this new water pump ».

Beneficiaries leaving the water pump station N'2_ and water tower at their back

In Chad, almost 60%[2] of the population does not have access to safe drinking water in rural areas; with more than 38% of the rural population at risk of diseases due to unsafe water. The water tower and its hybrid (thermal and solar) immersed pump installed by UNICEF in Haya Zouhour will serve nearly 530 households –of 8 people each, within a radius of 5km, thus preventing close to 4,000 people from falling sick due to waterborne diseases. This facility will also enable over 300 school-aged children to focus on their education as they won’t have to cover long distances anymore to fetch water.

[1] Dry bed of a desert river

[2] EDS MICS 2014-2015


Ex-Boko Haram abductees bringing clean water to their communities

In the Lake Chad region, 1 in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water. The crisis in the Lake Chad region has caused a massive displacement, with 1.3 million uprooted children who face a complex humanitarian situation.  

A new CERF-sponsored project aimed at responding to sanitation needs in communities has brought hope for some of the youth touched by violence while tackling protection and economic empowerment in an innovative way. 100 young people are now learning how to build 1,500 bio-sand filters that will benefit 11,000 community members. The group is also learning how to fix water points, make soap and build latrines in order to improve the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) indicators in this region.

UNICEF Chad/2017/Bahaji

Among the trainees, there are four children abducted by Boko Haram who managed to escape. They are now starting a new life, like Amin Sani*, 17. “Overnight, my brother in law disappeared, joined Boko Haram and started harassing me. He was calling me on the phone all the time ordering me to join Boko Haram and threatening me. He told me that I would make money, that my mother was a sinner, and that I should join him in the fight, “remembers Amin.

“I was afraid that they would come to grab me. I took my stuff and left to my uncle’s place in Niger. On the way, I found some Boko Haram fighters. They detained me in an unknown forest and threatened me. From the first day, I was thinking of how I could escape. It took me 18 months, but I made it safe to the Chadian border,” he remembers.

UNICEF took care of Amin once released by the authorities. Like other 500 children who managed to escape from Boko Haram, he was taken to a transition center before being reunited with his family after a period of transition.

“During my time at the transition centre, I did a training in water pumps repair. When the water point in my village was broken, I helped the technician to fix it and made some money. Now I am learning how to make water filters and I am very proud to install these filters in the communities,” explains proudly Amin. “I have been sick because of dirty water so many times. If people drink clean water it will help a lot. I would like to work in the water sector, fixing water pumps, and build filters myself, even better ones,” he concludes smiling.

UNICEF Chad/2017/Bahaji

With the improvement of the security situation in some of the islands of the Lake Chad, displaced populations are starting to come back. The quality of the water in these islands is very low and over 80% of the population practice open defecation. Water-borne diseases are widespread, putting these areas at high risk of cholera epidemics.

On one hand, this training will help Amin and other trainees to hope for a brighter future. On the other hand, bio-sand filters will help cutting the number of diarrhea cases in half by eliminating 90% of the microbes. In Chad, diarrhea is one of the leading cause of death among children.

Providing clean water is therefore critical in reducing child mortality. The new CERF-sponsored project aims to respond to the immediate needs of the population in terms of access to clean water and promotion of good hygiene practices.

It also integrates protection through WASH activities by providing opportunities to youth abducted by Boko Haram with skills development in order to support them with income generation revenue activities. The main objective is to develop confidence and self-esteem among these young people affected by the Boko Haram conflict and support WASH sector locally.

*Name was changed


Thirsting for a future

Improving access to safe drinking water through a mobile phone is now possible in Chad

Tresorier General ACGPE Ndjam Bilala Al-hadji Ismail.JPG

By Rodolphe Houlsonron

Water is life, it is said. This is especially true, for the rural communities of Yao in the Batha region. Nearly 115,000 people, mostly women and children suffering from a cruel lack of safe drinking water, have just benefited from 139 water points and sanitation thanks to the support of the Swiss Cooperation in Chad. In the rural communities of Yao in central-eastern Chad, women no longer have to travel tens of kilometers every day to collect water.

Saleh Sossal Attahir, 38, is a member of the water point management committee « AL-HAYA » (life) in Ambassatna. « In the water sector, several projects have been implemented in the Batha region where more than half of the population drinks poor quality water. In the past, we had a lot of trouble repairing the pumps. Some water points were abandoned for months because the committees did not manage well the money that had to be used for repairs. »

Our committee joined the Ambassatna Association, which manages 31 water points management committees. They collect the revenues from water sales which are paid on the TIGO-CASH account of the association.

Solde tigo cash Ambassatna.JPG

« Thanks to mobile payment with TIGO-CASH, the funds are managed with transparency. For the month of April alone, we were able to have 3 pumps repaired thanks to the mobile phone funds transfer, » adds Saleh Sossal Attahir.

Each committee contributed to our TIGO-CASH account and the funds collected were allocated for various expenses such as remuneration of the person in charge of the water distribution, travel expenses, administrative expenses, small and large failures, or the purchase of new pumps.

Thanks to the funding of the Swiss Cooperation in partnership with UNICEF, more than 140 mechanized boreholes equipped with hand pump have been built in the Yao health district.

UNICEF CHAD -2016-Esteve.jpg

Today in Chad more than 140 water points management committees are involved in the mobile phone payment system, which improves the accountability of the management committees and ensures the continuity of water supply to the most vulnerable populations. To address climate change, it is essential to appeal to innovations, including mobile technologies to support communities to better manage their resources.


UNICEF is actively working with ADRA, a national NGO for the construction of water points, latrines, and the promotion of good hygiene practices. In addition, the Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA) is in charge of the capacity building of the water points management committees. Ten artisans’ repairers were also trained to carry out maintenance work in the event of a breakdown or failure.