LDS Church brings water to Horn of Africa

The chief sits on the hard ground and gazes out at the barren, dry land before him.

Deep in the Horn of Africa, he is miles from any civilization. The only thing he can hear is the wind whistling across the desert and the braying of his goats in the distance.

The chief is named Ahamd Issaq, and for generations his people have called this village Sala-Jama. It sits in the Dolo Ado region of Ethiopia, about 90 miles (145 km) from the border of Somalia.

Last year, this village was running out of water. Issaq lay awake at night wondering what to do. The region is known for its salt mines, and as the water table dipped, even the rivers the villagers drink from became salty, making the children in the village sick as well as the livestock. Issaq contemplated moving his village but knew that they would lose up to half their goats in the perilous journey.

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