Soutout, Takat, and Aminata (all aged 9) bathing after fetching water for their families. September 2005.
These girls are bathing in pond water contaminated by human and animal waste. As a result, they may suffer from various parasitic illnesses obtained by showering with polluted pond water. They are nonetheless thrilled to wash themselves in the pond given that they often spend the nine month dry season without a single bath. Photo by Ariane Kirtley, taken from website www.waterforniger.org.
Amman Imman: Water is Life. We know this to be a saying among the Tuareg people in the Azawak. Yet this declaration echoes in many languages and cultures, as water is recognized as an essential need and basic human right that is in peril the world over.
In the blog Water Is Life, Jan writes about the world-wide crisis that the scarcity of this essential element triggers, naming water as the "new oil of the 21st century". Blog posts raise awareness about water scarcity, drought, deforestation, climate change and other issues all around the world that is thinning the tightrope upon which we balance. Positive solutions are offered that give people courses of action to take to make a commitment toward sustainability such as Tree Nation, a petition you can sign to pledge to be a climate messenger and support the work of Al Gore. This blog is a great resource for staying connected to the varied active issues around water.
A July 3 post about NPR's story on Desert Nomads prompted me to add a comment to Jan's blog to tell her about Amman Imman and Ariane's work with the people of the Azawak. Jan responded with support, adding a link to Montessori Students and the Amman Imman Project on the sidebar of the Water Is Life blog.
Amman Imman's work in the Azawak exemplifies a positive solution that we can gather round and support. I feel particularly inspired about the contribution students and schools around the world are making toward easing the lives of the people of the Azawak through this collaborative effort with Amman Imman to build sustainable water sources in this region.
Amman Imman, Arr Issudar. Water is Life, Milk is Hope. Let's not forget that in order to save lives and bring hope, water is needed. By working together to change this corner of the world, we set an example for the possibility of a sustainable future.Women making a traditional Tende drum. Camp Tantigellay Teckniwen. September 2005. This traditional instrument is made by covering a common mortar with wet goat skin and letting the skin dry in the sun. In traditional Tuareg society, musicians are women because they alone know how to make and play traditional Tuareg instruments. Photo courtesy of Ariane Kirtley on www.waterforniger.org.