With an unfortunate nickname like “The Dead Heart of Africa”, a land-locked country like Chad may seem out of hope’s reach. Thankfully, a group of dedicated missionaries from the Illinois based non-profit TEAM think differently.
Chad is dominated by dessert terrain and considered one of the poorest countries on the planet. Once home to one of the largest fresh water sources in Africa, the country has watched as a catastrophic drought has depleted 95% of its namesake, Lake Chad, over the last 50 years. The drought has affected all regions of Chad and, like in so many other African nations, citizens are forced to spend many hours a day collecting water from sources far from where they live. Further, competition for water continues to increase as refugees from the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur find safety inside Chad’s borders. The situation is dire, but not hopeless.
WaterHope believes that life in Chad is valuable and the country has been handed a misnomer. That is why, in 2010, WaterHope joined with TEAM to prove that the heart of Chad beats strong.
the journey begins…The first well was drilled on November 3rd 2010; the second on November 20th. Then another in January. And another and another. And there’s no stopping anytime soon. The WaterHope funded drilling rig—affectionately called Walrus 1 after our dedicated supporter Craig “The Walrus” Stadler—and members of TEAM are on the move through Chad, constructing wells for some of the most devastated villages. This expedition is set to last two years with the goal of providing clean, fresh water to as many Chadians as possible. In order to ensure sustainability, wells are drilled in the closest possible proximity to schools and churches and the drilling team is made up of local Chadians. These factors help to establish the investment of the surrounding community and provide community members a sense of ownership of their new water source.