Challenged, a little lost and forgotten
In the dry sub-Saharan desert of Chad ADRA is supporting a UNICEF project providing sustainable access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, for 110,000 people in the Batha region. Bert Smit, ADRA-UK CEO visited the project with Frank Teeuwen, the ADRA Director United Nations Liaison Office.
Warnings are in place not to visit Chad due to insecurity. The porous borders are dangerous and we are told to not venture out on our own.A week before we travelled a vehicle from another aid agency was hijacked and stolen. We could write a book on how we enter and eventually leave Chad. Let’s just say it was very ‘interesting’.
We feel safe in the presence of Dieudonné LASNDROMA KABDANA who is our local ADRA director.
One day we visited the village of Abdouback where a special festival took place to celebrate the fact that the village has received the status of a ‘Zero Defection Village’ in national recognition that all the households in the village now have a pit latrine. ADRA installed a well, provided health education and gave training in building the pit latrines here. Attaining this status is a major event and the district Prefect Aroune Tchomtchom and his entourage have travelled to the village to celebrate the accomplishment.
After many speeches we are taken on tour of some of the new pit latrines and the tour ends at the new pump build by ADRA. The Prefect pumps water and all cheer him on. Water is such a vital missing link in life here in the desert of Chad. It is soaring hot – at least 43c – and it is not even midday yet as we leave Abdouback behind.
We visit other components of the project: a solar water installation for the clinic in the village of Ambassatna. We see a new VIP latrine for girls at the local school. We continue our drive through the wilderness on tracks to Moulio. Here we see one of the small drilling rigs in action that ADRA Chad operates in the search for water for this community. ADRA is drilling 70 new boreholes and refurbishing another 20.
We cannot help but be amazed how people are able to carve out a tiny existence in the desert here. The help that ADRA with support from UNICEF is bringing to the people here is life changing.
Before we leave the country we visit the local mission field office. With just 2,500 members and 14 pastors the church in Chad is very limited in what it can do. There is little or no support from the world church and it seems lost and forgotten.
In such a challenged country as Chad our support both as ADRA and as church is vital.
Please remember Chad in your prayers.