Hadjara, Niger

The water tower installed at Danja Hospital by The Leprosy Mission ensures a fresh water supply for patients as well as leprosy-affected communities living near to the hospital site. In Danja village Hadjara Souley, 60, collects a nominal payment of five francs for every 30 litres of water collected from the pump.

Previously villagers had to walk 2km to collect water – a task which proved difficult people with leprosy-caused damage to their hands and feet. The money is paid into a cooperative which pays Hadjara’s wages and for repairs to the tap should any maintenance be required.

Hadjara was treated for leprosy when she was 20 years old. She had two children and her first husband left her after she was diagnosed with leprosy. She said: “There was this type of stigma in my family and somebody told me to come to Danja for treatment.”

Hadjara is now married to a leprosy patient and lives in Danja village.

“In the past people were suffering to get water,” she said.

“They had to walk 2km to the well and they got injured when collecting water. It took one or two hours to get water and people’s skin would get burnt in the sun by walking.”

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