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Ndowen village in acute water shortage, villagers trek kilometers to buy water

Dec 31, 2009, 12:09 PM | Article By: Abdurrahman Sallah

The village of Ndowen in the Niani district of the Central River Region (CRR) is facing an acute scarcity of water, forcing villagers to trek several kilometers to buy water from a neighbouring village in Senegal.

Speaking to this correspondent, Pierre Bah, the chief of the district, said water scarcity in the area has in recent times worsened to such an extent that villagers trek some 3 kilometres to buy water from Kerr Manunbeh a village in Senegal at 20 CFA per twenty liter container.

It is pathetic, he said, that the most affected are the women and children, who fetch water from an open well in the village.

According to him, Ndowen has a population of over 5,000 inhabitants and over 6,000 livestock ranging from cattle, sheep, goats, horses and donkeys.

He said the acute shortage of water is compounded by the fact that all the livestock in the village drink from the only available well in the area.

"Sometimes the villagers will draw water and within hours the well is empty, and they have to wait for several hours for water to come up again," he revealed.

Chief Bah used the occasion to appeal to the Gambia government, NGOs and philanthropists to come to their aid.

Faced with this situation, Chief Pierre Bah has warned residents of the village to avoid starting bushfires. "The grasses are dry, and they can easily catch fire," he advised.