Mauritania, Aftout, June 2006
WFP food-for-work at Nebam, near Mongel, Aftout, Mauritania - villagers constructing a dam to retain water (area has extremely poor water supply - they currently have to go 12 km on donkeys to fetch it).
Despite the searing midday heat, men and women work tirelessly as their new dam wall slowly takes shape. The rains are due shortly, so they know they have only a limited time before the job must be complete. “The importance of this barrage is that we will have water to drink and so will our animals,” says one woman. “We will also have good land to farm. That is what is important to us – we drink, our animals drink and we can grow food.” Another worker has a slightly different take – “Look at all the men, women and children you see here. We have left no one in the village – because there is nothing to guard there. A thief would find nothing. This barrage is all we have,” he says.