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The Azawak Photo Galleries

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Marshes

During the very short rainy season, people fetch water from marshes. Human and animal waste contaminates the water. When the marshes begin to dry as the rainy season comes to an end, water is retrieved by digging beneath the mud.

 


 

Marshes and Water Holes

Once the rains end, people dig water holes in the marshland, and pull the rain water that has seeped into the earth up to the surface. To reach more water, people climb down into these water holes to dig them deeper and deeper until there is no more water. This water is brackish, muddy, and contaminated.

 


 

Deep Open Wells

After the water holes in the marsh dry, the real hardship begins. People travel up to 35 miles in a day to deep open wells, or when they are lucky, to the few boreholes in the region. These water sources are rare, tremendously difficult to use, and overexploited. The water retrieved from these very deep open wells is also brackish and contaminated.

 


 

Boreholes

After the water holes in the marsh dry, the real hardship begins. People travel up to 35 miles in a day to deep open wells, or when they are lucky, to the few boreholes in the region. These water sources are rare, tremendously difficult to use, and overexploited. The water retrieved from these very deep open wells is also brackish and contaminated.

 


 

Tuaregs

The Tuaregs are the main ethnic group of the Azawak. Most Tuaregs are pastoral nomads that live in camps of approximately 50 to 150 members. Due to economic pressure and dramatic livestock losses, some Tuaregs have abandoned their formally nomadic lifestyle and now live in small villages and rely on subsistence farming for their survival.

 


 

Fulani

The Fulani are a dominant ethnic group of the Azawak. The Fulani are pastoral nomads that live in camps of no more than one or two families, with extended family units interspersed every one or two miles. They relocate every two or three days in search of the best pastures for their cattle, which is their most prized possession and symbol of wealth.

 


 

Health

The lack of water and poor water quality in the Azawak leads to a variety of diseases due to dehydration and water-borne illnesses. Mortality rates are as high as 50% among children under 5 years of age in the region.

 


 

Portraits

While their lives are profoundly affected by the lack of water, the people of the Azawak have strong family ties, varied traditions, and a rich culture.

 

 


 

Team in the Field

In July, 2007, Amman Imman completed construction of the Tangarwashane borehole. The Amman Imman team trained a management committee ascertain the borehole’s sustainability. Now, up to 25,000 people and their animals have access to a clean and sustainable water source.

 


 

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