Among the searing heat, craggy rock formations, and sand of Chad’s Sahara Desert lies Bardai. A literal oasis, the small town with a population of around 1500 is the main population center in the remote far north of Chad’s Tibesti Region and a hub for the Toubou tribes that operate throughout the tri-border area of Chad, Libya, and Niger.
The unrest in Libya, the rise of ISIS in North Africa, and the flows of fighters, weapons, and illicit trade through the area make it strategically important in the fight against violent extremism. To compound these issues, the Toubou people have been restive in the past and are susceptible to recruitment by malign actors if their basic needs and grievances are not addressed. Extremist groups in the area have been highlighting a lack government resources and attention as they seek to gain support and sympathy for their cause.
In Bardai, one of the most critical needs is water. The pump in the town’s water tower has been out of service for almost ten months, eliminating running water in people’s homes and making life much more difficult in this already challenging environment. Unfortunately, the local government cannot meet this need themselves. By providing a new pump to the town, the US Team, working alongside the Chadian military, will not only restore an essential service to the area but will also build relationships and trust with this vulnerable and important population while countering extremist messaging.
With your support, Spirit of America can fill this gap, restoring running water to the town, address local grievances, and facilitating strategic relationships.