Nomads Pit Well Project
raised by 5 donations
of £750.00 Target Goal
£750.00 Target Goal
The project is for two shallow pit wells to benefit herder households whose way of life depends on raising livestock in the harsh Gobi Desert. These wells are traditional, hand dug up to 10 metres deep, each capable of serving 4 to 6 households and several thousand mixed livestock, including horses, camels, yak or cows, along with herds of sheep and goats The wells may be newly dug, or be the refurbishment of old wells that have fallen into disuse, or have poor water flow unable to meet demand. It's a common problem in this arid region with its harsh climate ranging from summer droughts and extreme winters, to fierce winds and dust storms. About a third of Mongolia is occupied by the Gobi Desert in the south, but animal husbandry has always been and still is, the main source of income for thousands of households in this harsh terrain. Grazing is sparse compared to northern provinces, so livestock needs moving more frequently between pastures to fatten up sufficiently to withstand the rigours of winter. It can range between -40C in a severe winter and +40C in a hot summer! When heavy snow locks grazing in an icy grip denying livestock access to pasture below, it leads to a widespread disaster phenomenon known as dzud, . The combination of malnourishment, starvation and cold exposure that follows often causes herd deaths in huge numbers, wreaking havoc on communities and livelihoods. Horses play an essential role in herders lives, not just for herd management, but also for getting around in remote terrain with no roads or transport. Going anywhere, whether to market, taking kids to school, or socialising, depends on their small but tough semi-wild horses. Children learn to ride at a young age, to later become highly skilled in horse management for herding work. These thirsty animals, and other livestock need regular watering, so the need for this vital resource is paramount.. By increasing the number of working wells, either by refurbishing any that are out-of-order or in poor condition, or otherwise by digging new wells, so better use is made of available pasture, with livestock having less distance to travel to access this precious resource. If the donation target for two wells is exceeded, yet more will be made available to herder families whose livelihoods depend so greatly on them. Thank you for reading, and for any donation you are kind enough to make towards this worthy project.
Founded in 2000 following a calamitous winter disaster that destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of Mongolia's herding families, CAMDA has since been providing aid projects to these semi-nomadic communities to help sustain this vulnerable way of life. Our projects go to low-income families whose livelihoods depend on animal husbandry, since they have no other alternative way of life. It is a vast country of desert, mountains and steppe; their environment and climate is harsh on those with small herds that are dependent on good grazing and plentiful water. They need to fatten their animals during the short Mongolian summer to withstand the rigors of winters that can plunge temperatures to minus 45C for weeks or months on end. Their animals provide food and byproducts for herder families, but also to sell at market, so any means - such as our wells - that improves livestock quality also helps boost income from them. Winter disasters are more common, and climate change has dried up many natural water sources, making pit wells increasingly in demand as their source of water, for herders' domestic use and for their animals. Summer droughts are also more common, with higher temperatures breaking records. Our Well Project, which is now our main focus of aid, helps meet their water needs in several provinces, especially Gobi Desert areas, and elsewhere that climate change has dried up many natural water sources. Provision of water where it is needed helps keep communities together, also, with it being closer to good pasture otherwise underused for lack of water within reach, saves herders and stock from trekking great distances just to find this vital resource. There is an environmental gain too, as reducing the amount of trekking by thousands of livestock hooves benefits soil and pasture from degradation and being blown to dust by windstorms. We aim to refurbish or newly dig between 30 - 40 wells each year, and to date have provided 370 spread among six provinces. Our main source of income is from grants, but these are hard to obtain and we need support with public donations, however small, to keep this essential work ongoing. Our website (link at top) provides full details of past aid work, clearly demonstrating the public benefit it gives.Charity Registration No. 1086778