What a difference two months make.
In April this year as the rains ebbed away, the rivers at which the women and children of Kaniche village start and end their days collecting water flowed steadily. The water was dirty, it was far away, but it was water none the less and it was all they had.
Fast forward to early June, just sand remains.
In two short months the water has vanished, leaving women and children with the unenviable task of digging to reach the water table, painstakingly collecting cup by cup of the water that seeps through the sand.
The situation is no better in Bokola.
With the Namizu river completely dry, the people of Bokola face an equally daunting future. Rains don’t come till November. For the next five months, without a borehole, women will dig, scoop and gather the small amount of water that filters into their cups. When the water stops seeping, they’ll walk further, dig again, scoop again until that dries up too, each time travelling further and further away to find the precious spot where water lies beneath the surface.
There’s five more months till rains are due again. Five long, despairing months.