our mission:

To restore life, health and peace to indigenous farmers and nomadic pastoralists in nigeria through the settlement of pastoralists onto protected, ecologically sound grazing reserves with healthcare and schools provided for their families.

Another day of drama in the Bobi grazing reserve!

Another day of drama in the Bobi grazing reserve!

Another day of drama in the Bobi grazing reserve.  This time, the issue was, no road into the drilling site the leaders had chosen!  The track they showed us was too narrow, trees pressing in on every side, with boulders and dry river beds to cross.  Our Toyota could make it through, but a drilling rig, twice the width of the Toyota and twice the height?  No way.  So, we had a problem.  We had promised four boreholes in Bobi, but couldn’t drill at the location they gave.  And, we’d already delayed so much due to the other problems we’d encountered.  The drill team was anxious to get up to Garbagal reserve in Jigawa State and finish the drilling there, and get home to their families.  Their boss, back in Abuja, was urging them to bring back the rig, as there were jobs pending in that city. 

It took a lot of pleading to get the drill team to agree to give the Fulani one more chance, to wait for a few more hours, for them to clear that road.  We’re heading to the trail head now; I pray the Fulani have cleared the way.

The drama continues!  The Fulani had cleared the road as far as one open field, still several metres from the site previously decided on.  But from that field onwards, the way was treacherous, and the rig driver didn’t want to continue.  Besides that, Aliyu and the surveyor said there was a site in this open field that actually had a better chance of producing the water they needed.  So there was a huge argument between the leaders and the drillers about this new location.  The leaders said they could not secure the well in this place, that the pump could be stolen as it was at a distance from any settlement, that the reason they’d chosen the other site was, it was in the chief’s compound.  The surveyor said, but the chances of a great volume of water were better in this open field.  And the driver refused to take the rig further.  So, there was a lot of shouting and shaking of fists! 

I asked the chief if he could promise to secure the well and pump in this place.  He said no, he could promise no such thing. I said fine, we will then leave for Jigawa.  We weren’t going to spend this much money just to have the pump stolen.  If they didn’t want this gift of water, we would go. 

Just then, Alhaji Ahijo and Alhaji Bello drove up on their motorbikes, listened to the complaints and settled the matter.  The drill WOULD be done in this open field, and the Chief WOULD provide security for the pump. So the drill has begun. 

Thankfully, we found a HUGE quantity of water at 72.6 metres!  Water shot up over ten meters into the air!  So thankful.  The men are casing the borehole, then we’ll close it off and head out of this bush. 

Here’s a summary of the drilling work we’ve done so far.

  1. On Kachia, we drilled four successful boreholes, and one which produced no water and was abandoned. We bought and replaced one solar pump which had been stolen from a borehole in the center of Ladduga, (a village in the center of the reserve,) a borehole which is vitally important as it provides water for three clinics.

  2. On Bobi, we drilled four successful boreholes, drilled a fifth one in the compound of Alhaji Abubakar at Kilishi and repaired two boreholes, one of which is located in the Federal cattle duplication center.

The drill team, once they’ve capped this well, will go south to Kaduna to buy the supplies they need for the Garbagal drills.  My team is heading north.  We’ll drive as far as we can go before nightfall then find a place to sleep.  On Monday we’ll check in with federal and state agric officers then head to the Garbagal reserve to set up camp. 

Aliyu and his team will meet us in Garbagal. 

Four more boreholes to drill!  Then we begin the work of installing the pumps and building drinking troughs! 

I have to say, I LOVE this work that has been put into my hands! 

Phyllis Sortor

Sitting under the trees on Garbagal reserve

Sitting under the trees on Garbagal reserve

Big drama today, at Kilishi Village!

Big drama today, at Kilishi Village!