JRS Chad: Access to water is the cornerstone of quality education

In Lake Chad province, home to some of the country’s most vulnerable populations in the face of escalating climate change, access to quality water is a challenge. Education is also strongly affected by the lack of this crucial resource for life.

To ensure the well-being, health and presence in class of pupils, it is essential that schools have water points inside their centres, as well as adequate sanitary infrastructures.

Thus, in 2022, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) rehabilitated and built boreholes in fifteen schools in urban areas and sites and camps for forcibly displaced people in the Lake Chad province. The program was supported by JRS USA. Due to the limited water sources inside the neighborhoods and camps where the boreholes have been constructed, communities living around the school can also visit the schools (outside school hours) to benefit as well. of this clean water.

As part of the same intervention, JRS also rehabilitated more than eight latrines in four schools and built a block of latrines in eight schools.

JRS spoke to students, school staff and community members at Espoir II primary school in Dar es Salaam refugee camp to learn about the changes the new borehole has brought to the center.

Abakar Gana Mamadou

Abakar, originally from Chad, has been the director of the Espoir II school for three years.

The center hosts over 2,300 students, most of them refugees from neighboring Nigeria and Niger. Nearly half of the students in her school are girls.

“Before, we only had one borehole at the school, built in 2015, but it often broke down.

“Pupils left school to fetch water in the neighborhood and some did not return to class. Sometimes we hired someone to fetch water and bring it to school to prevent students from missing class.

“Access to water at school is very important. The students must wash their hands, drink and we also use the water to feed the students in the school canteen.

“Outside of school hours, community members also come to school to use the water.

“Water is a very sensitive point here. In my opinion, one borehole is not enough due to the high number of children. We are concerned that this drilling will also break its use. A water tank with a water pump would be very useful in the future.

Fatimé Ousmane

Aged 35, Fatimé is a member of the Association of Student Mothers (AME) of Hope II and foster mother of two children, both students at the school. A seamstress in a village in Nigeria, she fled to Dar es Salaam camp 8 years ago and has not worked since.

“I’m going to fetch water from the school well. The water we draw from the neighborhood well changes color. This borehole is closer to my house and the water quality is better.

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