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Sudan, Fight for Survival in Rural Communities During the Dry Season

Britac, Dourdeib, (Red Sea, Sudan). The beginning of the dry season. It ends in July (Inshallah). Everything is drier than last year. There is an early scarcity of water. The closest well to this community (that can be seen in the distance in the photo to the right) is about 30 km away and the second one is 50 km to the west.

The closest one has a poor yield at this time. The man leading the sheep is a herder (Beja). He is holding a small, empty water container. He is keeping his sheep at bay as long as he can.

Behind him is another herd, amassed and still, with a shepherd in the lead. And in the other direction for kilometers, you can see other herds, under the sun, and their shepherd, each with an empty water container.

Every once in a while, a sheep can’t take it anymore and it runs away. In a specific direction. Towards water. But there is no water. Here, they wait for a tanker to bring it and fill rubber tanks placed under an acacia.

It’s been three days and the tanker hasn’t arrived. All they can do is wait. So they don’t lose their place in line. Under the sun. The camels made it to the well 30 km away because they are faster and stronger than sheep.

This is what life is like at the beginning of the dry season in Britac. You are thirsty. You look for water and… you can die from the lack of water.

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