"Since I started growing vegetables, our worries about getting food came to an end and we get to meet our needs for clothes, purchase of medicines, and also school supplies for our children," says Oumou.
Rains are scarce and the drought that recurrently hits the Sahel means families need to find alternatives to rainfed farming.
"I come every afternoon after school to help my mother water her vegetables, and I like helping her because she buys me clothes and also pays my school supplies," says Deko, 14.
Oumou is the president of the group of women who work in the garden set up by World Vision in the community of Nonsombougou.
They sought World Vision’s support in finding solutions to the challenges they face.
"We are 32 women who work here. When we started this garden, it was difficult because there was no water and the land is barren. We were able to collect 150 000 FCFA [300 US dollars] to dig a well and World Vision supported us with a pump, and in spite of that it was always difficult to work the garden because the water is still not enough."
In 2010, World Vision fenced the garden and installed a solar irrigation system with a water tower and basins, making the women’s work much easier with constant water availability. The garden has become greener and more interesting with crop productions that go beyond consumption, and the women began selling vegetables on the market.
With the water flowing constantly, Oumou and her mates devoted themselves to working in the garden and World Vision continued supporting them with training on gardening techniques and the use of fertilizers and making of manure to help them maximize their production.
Deko is happy to help his mother because he knows that as water continues flowing in Nonsombougou community garden, Oumou will grow vegetables and he can continue his studies without the fear of coming home one evening and not finding food.
Photo©2013 World Vision, Amadou Baraze