With a population of 158 million, Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest countries. Its people make up one seventh of the population of the entire continent. However, the area of Northern Nigeria is also an incredibly dangerous place to live as a Christian. Believers are regularly targeted by extremists, with their families, churches and businesses put in jeopardy because of their faith.
In recent months, hundreds of Christians have lost their lives in several northern states as a result of gun attacks and bombings. The situation has become very tense, and both neighboring Muslim dominated villages and the government is showing an increased hostility towards Christians living in the rural areas.
All for believing in Jesus!
The Islamic government continues to refuse to build boreholes for Christian dominated villages, even after collecting a financial levy from the villagers to do so. This means the Christian villagers have to find alternative supplies. They travel long distances, or find water where they can - much of the time sharing the same ponds as their livestock. This endangers their health; waterborne diseases such as cholera and guinea worm are regular problems in these communities.
In 2012, over $72,000 AUD was raised from Walk to Water. This helped supply many people with clean running water, without having to walk (on average) 8km. This year, Open Doors is going back to Northern Nigeria to build more boreholes in remote villages, despite ongoing conflict. The average cost of surveying, drilling and installing deep-water boreholes, including maintenance training is about $12,000 AUD each.