The Environment and Agriculture
by Jean Simmons, Diountou, Lelouma, Guinea
"Si nydiaan arralii menen maraa ko men namay, si nydiaan arrallii menen mayaa."
This was the response I got when I asked a friend about the importance of water to the environment. The translation is: "If the rains didn't come, we wouldn't have that which we eat; if the rains didn't come, we would die." My friend went on to say, "With the first rains, we plant our grains, our corn, rice, fonio, millet. With the first rains we work our yearly food supply into the earth. As it is, now we eat till our bellies are full. We have no money but need no money because our wealth is in the ground we work. You ask if water is important. We depend on water for our crops. If the rains didn't come, we would die."
by Jennifer Akers, Boké, Guinea
It seems to me that the quality of water hasn't changed much in my community. The increased use of cars and motorcycles has surely damaged the water a bit as most vehicles are sent directly into the main water source to be washed, leaving oil residue and dirt in the city's drinking water.