Water is life!

“The rains! The rains are coming!” I was making sure our herd of goats was safe when I heard my younger brother calling from the hill above our village. My father had sent him there weeks ago, when we expected the rains to arrive quickly. My name is Ali and I live in Sudan. In my country, it only rains for a short time every year, so rain is very important for us. We may live in a very dry country, but that does not mean that we can live without water!

I ran up the hill to meet my brother. Far away, across the plain, I could see the storm clouds coming towards us. They were huge, grey and filled with water. I also began to shout that the rains were coming … the entire village soon joined us. Immediately, we could feel a cool wind rushing towards us. Damp air blew across my cheeks. I was so excited!

Rain means so many things to us. First, it means water for our crops and for our animals – water that we will not have to draw from wells or carry for a long way across our dry land. Second, it means a feast – for when the first rains come, we celebrate by having a huge feast from the leftovers of our year-long wait. Third, rain means hard work – everything will be growing soon and we will have to work hard in our fields.

The rains were very late this year – by more than one month. Our feast will be very small, but it does not matter. Soon there will be clean, clear water to drink, and fresh food to eat. Rain brings life!