Just ten months ago, the only water Djande had to give her son Yobi was dirty river water – and that was on a good day.

The family live in Imbina village in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, where the dry season can last for up to eight months of the year, often forcing the community to take desperate measures.

"If the water stops in the river, then we need to go to lots of different villages or to another river somewhere else," Djande told us last year.

"During the dry season I don't wash at all because there isn’t enough water. Sometimes I am forced to dig in the ground, scoop up a handful of water and filter the mud out. Sometimes I have to drink mud."

Djande and her son Yobi, Burkina Faso.
Djande and her son Yobi in Imbina village, Burkina Faso, last year.

To overcome the problems faced by communities in this region, we developed a pioneering programme of work – and launched our Project Sahel: Water 365 appeal.

Today, thanks to your incredible support, life is changing in Imbina village.

Your donations are enabling us to install the technology and deliver the training the community need to maintain their own water supplies, giving them access to this vital resource 365 days a year.

The heart of Project Sahel

At the heart of Project Sahel are people like Minougou.

Earlier this year, she trained to become a water monitor. Now she regularly measures rainfall and groundwater levels in the area and shares this knowledge with the community and neighbouring villages.

"Before, we didn’t know how much water fell, we didn’t know what time it rained," she explains.

"Thanks to the training, we realised the benefits of measuring rainfall. We learned about water cycles and the consequences of a lack of water on our villages, and we collect information so we know how much water we can use."

Minougou, a water monitor in Imbina village, Burkina Faso.
Minougou is one of the new water experts we're training in Imbina village.

The effect will be transformative.

"With Minougou's expertise, her village can organise their water use better," says Lucien Damiba, our Programme Manager for Burkina Faso.

"People will not have to spend their days digging for water and their families will not suffer from thirst and diarrhoea.

"Instead of being devastated by drought, they will have access to water all year round – and this incredible gift is all thanks to you."

Find out more about the technology behind Project Sahel >