There is an increasing drought in Mauritania. Yet thanks to the construction of a new water supply system, the vegetable plot of a group of women is flourishing again. They can set aside their substantial worries about shriveled and useless plants.

A women’s group in Dabbé, Mauritania, maintains a large produce garden. They nourish their families and earn money from what they reap.

Due to little or erratic rainfall, they were allowed to use the water tower in their village. This worked perfectly, the harvest was better than ever before. Though when more funds became available to connect other villages to the water tower, the group was no longer allowed to use the tower’s reservoir.

So they continued drawing water from the river with a diesel pump. That went well for two years. Then the diesel supply became too expensive leading to crop failures due to heat and drought.

Water returns thanks to careful plans

And that was a major setback for the whole community because it caused a significant lack of affordable healthy food. Many children became malnourished. Together with Silent Work Foundation, Wilde Ganzen Foundation supported the construction of a water pipe to the garden powered by a solar energy pump. Also, this collaboration built a new water tower and trained people in the pump’s use and maintenance.

Previously, 45 women worked at this vegetable garden. Thanks to this partnership, they were able to expand and another 45 women obtained a piece of land to garden. Together, they united on a board. Now there is enormous solidarity among them: if someone falls sick, they don’t have to pay for water, and a neighbor temporarily maintains the garden. They sell the harvest at the local market. With the profits, the women maintain their pump, prepare healthy meals and even pay health costs and their children’s school fees.

In this fashion, this community of changemakers are gaining more influence and say in a community ruled by men.

With this project, we have together, given the women and children of villages around Dabbé a nice boost. Thanks to their harvest, thousands of people can also buy cheap and healthy food.