NYT: Niger Children Miss School to Search for Water

The New York Times recently featured this cover story about how the search for water in drought stricken Niger proves not only dangerous for rural children, but robs them of their chance to learn.

When installing a School Market Garden, RAIN ensures that if there is no working well close by, one is repaired or installed not only to provide irrigation to the garden, but to free the children from the arduous and time consuming task of fetching water.

Excerpt: “The school day had already begun on a recent morning as a procession of small children on donkeys, school-age all, made their way over a sandy field, joining other youths gathered with their animals around deep holes in the ground.

As low rainfall has dried up the countryside, the search for water has become ever more difficult. The job of securing water frequently falls to Niger’s children, some as young as 10 or 11. They ride donkeyback as much as five miles out of town, with giant plastic jerrycans, half as high as the children themselves, strapped to the animals’ sides. The more they work, the emptier become the classrooms of Niger.”

Read the rest of the NYT article: Niger Children Miss School to Search for Water.