Impact Story #2 from the new (2017) well in Niger: Before the new well was installed in YaYa, Niger, by Samaritan’s Purse the only option for water was a muddy pond very far away. Read how the new well has impacted Madougou Sanda, his family and the village in his own words, as told to a representative from Samaritan’s Purse. This is the well that hundreds of children here in Louisville, KY helped us raise $13,000 to build. You can read details about how we did this together by going to our Water Walk blog post.
My name is Madougou Sanda, and I was born in the village of Yaya in 1952. I am the president of the Yaya open-well committee.
We are overjoyed that the construction of this new well has been completed. Now, we have potable water to meet our daily needs. Before I was the president of the open-well committee, I was working as a guard for a cell tower. I would have to leave my post to gather water during the day because it was too much for my wife to carry.
You see, I used a cow cart to travel to town to work, and because the pond is far away from our home, my wife could not carry enough water for both the family and the cows while I was away. Before the well was constructed, she used to walk 3-4 kilometers (2-2.5 miles) to the pond with the other women during the raining season, just to fetch dirty water that was full of clay. The journey was extremely exhausting for them, and the water was not fresh.
In fact, the water was so dirty that it was making many people sick. Men would stay home sick instead of going to work and women could not collect water if they were sick. We had to pay for medical expenses to heal people instead of using the money we earned to improve our livelihoods.
Now, we have access to clean water less than 20 meters from our homes, and people are much healthier because the water they are drinking does not make them sick. The well also takes a tremendous burden off of the women in the community. Women can make multiple short trips to the well and have more time to bring food to sustain the field workers and make meals for their families. My wife can make multiple short trips to collect water for both the family and the cows instead of walking for miles. We don’t have to leave our jobs just to collect water anymore.