Photo of The Week

People celebrating new well in Niger.

Well with Their Souls

As drought threatens the health of thousands of people in Niger, residents of a community in the country's Sahelian southwest celebrate the flowing of fresh water from a new source. Clean water prevents cholera and intestinal parasites, the director of the indigenous that helped the community install the well noted. "Access to clean water does not affect just one person's life, it affects the entire village," he said. Wells are especially important to children, who are most susceptible during drought as they dehydrate more quickly than adults from the diarrhea accompanying disease. The ministry has drilled just over 100 wells, and several others need to be completed with hand pumps. When not drilling wells, the ministry employs an indigenous team to monitor existing ones. "We often find government wells broken and repair them for villages," the director said. "It is our desire to drill as many wells as possible each year, but finances most often restrict this. Once the water well has been drilled, the health of the entire village changes."

Water Wells in Niger
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