7.00El Fatih and Bakhita join the other villagers at the hafir (surface water reservoir) to start the family’s daily quota of work. A pickaxe to dig and two pails to carry the earth are their tools. For the next four hours, they dig stubbornly at the hard dry earth. They are still only at the first level of the eight-step pit and it is important the hafir be finished before the rainy season which is coming soon. The southwest winds, which bring rain usually arrive around the end of April or beginning of May.
Water is a pressing and daily problem here in the chronically food-short and drought-affected regions of North Kordofan, and the idea that they will save the two-hour trip to the wells morning and night gives them the energy and drive to pound and pick and shovel over and over again at the unyielding iron-hard earth.