Situation Report
Pond in Bregue-Birguit
1 September 2021, Bregue-Birguit, Batha. This pond will allow communities to do both market gardening in the dry season and aquaculture. Photo credit: OCHA/Augustin Zusanné

Eating your fill requires water management

Water is indispensable everywhere and for everything, especially in the rural world. All the farmers we met in the four provinces decried its lack, which keeps them vulnerable. However, as the Governor of Guéra said, this resource is often wasted in Chad. His view is shared by an officer of the National Agency for Rural Development Support (ANADER), Mr. Djimnodjial, based in Mongo: "In terms of agricultural production, water is the most important element. Sometimes it rains a lot, but water gets lost in nature. In order to guarantee agricultural production, we must control the water by delaying its passage. It is necessary to allow it time to permeate so that it can bring the maximum moisture to the crops to ensure the completion of their cycles."

Without working with the communities, water control would be of little use. According to WFP, "The amount of water that falls is enough to bring change, but it is also necessary to change the mentality of the population and facilitate access to land for a certain category of people," says Claude Jibidar.

With this in mind, WFP and its partners are working with communities in the Guéra, Batha and Ouaddaï provinces to help them overcome chronic vulnerabilities. In Brégué-Birguit in the Batha, a weir has been built to retain water for the duration of the dry season so that farmers can plant béré-béré (sorghum) and, if possible, undertake market gardening. In addition to the weir, a pond has been built to collect rainwater to help the beneficiaries in their market gardening activities. At the pond, villagers also learn to breed fish. All these elements will allow these people to recover from their vulnerabilities, generating income, strengthening their food and nutritional security and improving school attendance.

In Doungoulou in the Guéra, farmers have found that thanks to the dike system with slopes, the labor force of the village has work to do on site. "The support from WFP and Moustagbal has stopped the rural exodus. Young people used to leave for N'Djamena and other cities in search of better opportunities and to send some money to their parents left behind. Since January 2021, no young people have left the village, because there is work," said Mahamat Dourgane, village chief of Doungoulou. The president of the farmers' committee, Mrs. Anassa Hamdane, adds: "By working on the dam, we can buy school supplies and clothes for our children”.