Christmas in the village of Bouassa, Burkina Faso

In emerging countries, it is women and children who assume the responsibility of fetching water for the household.

LThe time spent is taken from that of a remunerative activity for the mother and of a school activity for the child. Etienne ATGER works with an ET'AL France association to ensure that each village has a well avoiding fetching water from a muddy pond. Linked to this action, he tells us the story of a Christmas in the African village.

“It is still very warm, but evening is falling and soon, a semblance of welcome freshness will envelop the village. It is still the north wind which blows in this season, it is called the Harmatan, and it brings with it many diseases, so it will be necessary to cover up well tonight!

But for the moment, everyone is feverishly preparing for the party. The mother of the family brought out the most beautiful clothes for her family. She fills a large basin with clear water with the 20-liter plastic container that her elder brother went to fill at the pump. The little ones are washed there energetically by their big sisters. We must act quickly because soon the Mass in the Catholic Church will begin. It will be the same with the Protestant church. The old Christians of the village have found dusty old Bibles and go on foot or by bicycle to the building where the reminder is already sounded by banging hard on an old car rim hanging from a tree. It's Christmas Eve and everyone should participate.

It's Christmas, it's the most beautiful, and for many the only annual celebration, so everything must be done to make it a wonderful memory.

Tomorrow morning, the whole family will get up very early, around 4 a.m., to prepare plenty of food. It will be shared, later in the morning, with the neighbors, but also with all the visitors who will come to wish a Merry Christmas. These visits will last all day, it will be a party, we will greet each other, we will laugh, we will wish each other the most beautiful things for the new year which will not be long in coming. Even the children will go from court to court asking for a few pennies which will be their only gift.

On this day, we will no longer think too much about the difficulties of life, we will not think of the hard work in the fields, or of school, or of the fact that we have no future. It's Christmas, it's the most beautiful, and for many the only annual celebration, so everything must be done to make it a wonderful memory. And who knows if next year in Bouassa, we will not be able to also rejoice that a water tower has been built and that beautiful latrines are available just next to the market place?

In the meantime, the inhabitants of Bouassa wish you very happy holidays to you too, that they can be those of laughter and sharing, because ultimately, it is the most important ... once we have the water! "

bumped 2Do you know that :

  • More than 3,4 million people die each year from lack of drinking water, lack of sanitation and hygiene problems?
  • 99% of these deaths are in emerging countries?
  • 2,5 billion inhabitants do not have access to a satisfactory sanitation system and more than half of them have no access to sanitation at all?
  • The lack of sanitation and access to drinking water kills as many children each year as would a Boeing 747 accident every 4 hours?
  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related health problems?

Access to water is essential and must also be accompanied by hygiene measures (latrines, waste management, etc.). Access to water also makes it possible to create activities: gardens, plantations of fruit trees… useful for families and the whole community.

“In other words, access to water does not seem sufficient to us if we do not seek solutions to the problems of sanitation, nor to the economic problems of the poorest families. So our “strategy” is to work with a pilot group, to set up the actions to be carried out in the field, then to demonstrate through these actions the benefit for the population more generally. All this to explain to you that our commitment to this village in Burkina Faso will only end when we have the assurance that enough people will have adopted new practices and will be able, through their lifestyle, to send a message. of hope to their fellow citizens ”writes Etienne Atger

The development of emerging countries also goes through these solutions as through a fair sharing of created or natural resources made available to all by the Creator. So let's wish the inhabitants of Bouassa, the Burkinabés and all Africans a very Merry Christmas!

Nathanael Bechdolff

Source: Bouassa

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