Since Chad is partly in the Sahel region, where drought and famine are common, water control is essential in increasing agricultural production and ensuring the food supply. The Hope Agricultural College of Bougoudang is making constant progress in this regard. It is a small college of 97 pupils, 15 of whom are girls and 30 are in their first year; it is situated south of Ndjamena, next to Cameroon’s North-Eastern frontier.
To the school’s original well they have added a bore and a solar pump. Recently two large reservoirs have allowed the school to increase the amount of water pumped each day, which means they can more effectively water the vegetable garden and the orchard, and fill the farm animals’ drinking troughs. The boarders can also have their own gardens.
The government is in the process of constructing a long dike from Bongor (a town 230 km south of the capital and 30 km by road from the College) to control the flooding of the river Logone (one of the two rivers in Chad, forming the frontier with Cameroon). The dike passes right in front of the College. In this region, the rainy season extends from May to October, and the management of the flood waters needs closer study to help these future agriculturalists improve their work.
Reforestation … The word is almost unknown in our everyday speech, but everyone is talking about “the danger of desertification”. Naturally this is because the desert is indeed advancing, but still more because the population of Chad is growing (it has gone from 6 million to 12 million in 25 years) … and because wood is needed for everyday cooking.
And so in Kakale, a small village on the banks of the river Chari, a local NGO, the Association for Rural Self-Development, has raised the peasants’ awareness of the problem, and they have formed themselves into a village group to plant their tree-nursery beside bores worked by a manual pump.
Sowing takes place in February, watering until July, and when the first rains come, the trees are planted out in plots, each the responsibility of a family. The plots must be monitored the whole year round. One villager, in charge of supervising the results, describes the project with great satisfaction: of the 600 seedlings individually packed for sending out, 67 were lost on the way, but the others are doing well, to everyone’s delight. And we mustn’t forget that this work provides training in good tree conservation!
RSCJ of Chad
Note from the NGO Office:
For information and campaign materials for World Water Day 2012, please see www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/