From an interview with a farmer from Mozambique, we learn how access to water from a sand dam can change the lives of whole families for the better.

What is your name?

My name is Jose Finiasse.

How old are you?

 I am 50 years old.

How many children do you have?

I have 5 children (two girls and three boys).

What was life like before you had access to water from the sand dam?

Before the construction of the sand dam, we had serious water problems. We didn’t have drinking water for our cattle and we were unable to grow many crops. Life was very hard in the past.

Can you describe what a typical day used to be like? What problems did you face?

I remember on certain days my wife would almost sleep by the well because the lines were so long. The well was 3km from our home, the main source of water for the whole community, providing water for near 150 families. Because the lines were so long, she came back home at 11pm. I had to take care of the children at home, however, we could do nothing because the shortage of water and food was a reality at that time.

We always suffered from diarrhoea caused by the contaminated water we consumed, since they were open wells that we also shared with the animals. Some of my children always had problems attending school since they had to help their mother to get water. Our farm was very small because we did not have enough time to work on it, which often culminated in the low yield at the end of the season.

How have your lives changed since the sand dam project?

Since we started working with the Christian Council of Mozambique (CCM – partners of Excellent in Mozambique), our life has known a new page because it was the beginning of a new stage.

Jose Finiasse - Wiriamo

"Now we have good water and enough for domestic consumption. Our wives no longer travel long distances, our children go to school regularly, we eat fresh vegetables from our own gardens that allowed us to change our diet and change the meal, and the cattle have water to drink."

Now with new applications of agricultural techniques that CCM has given us, we have increased our yield capacity and we have been able to extend our farms because we have enough time to weed. There is no record of diarrhoea or other diseases caused by contaminated water anymore. And we got some money from selling vegetables to those who couldn’t produce something.

What new crops are you now able to grow?

Tomatoes, cabbages, lettuces and onions.

What did you do with the income you made from selling your crops?

I bought seeds for the next season, I bought school supplies for my children, like notebooks, pencils, pens and school uniforms, and we bought rice, cooking oil and other household necessities.

How do you feel when you think about your sand dams and everything that you have achieved as a community?

First of all, we thank CCM and Excellent for the sand dam built in our community, but also show gratitude for those who have funded the sand dam construction. It is something which will help the next generations. Our life has changed thanks to this dam, supporting people in need. We know that there are people who still have problems that we had before the construction of the dam, so if possible we would like to request more dams for our community so that we can continue extending our plots of farming. Thank you.

Could you help more people to break free from poverty by supporting them to build sand dams and carry out climate-smart farming, so they have enough water to drink and food to eat? Please donate what you can.

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