By Naser Qadous, ANERA Agricultural Projects Manager
As people around the world celebrate Earth Day, families like mine living in the West Bank are celebrating spring. If you have ever been to the West Bank, you know that spring is spectacular. Wildflowers are in bloom under great blue skies stretching above olive groves and the air buzzes with the sound of bees doing their good work.
We had a lot of rain this winter, which is very important to us because water is our most scarce resource. Throughout the West Bank and Gaza we now have hand-dug cisterns that are full. For many families, this is much-needed water for washing dishes and growing gardens. For farmers, it represents a future income. For all of us, it is just a little more peace of mind.
I have been working with ANERA for 12 years and I take great pride in helping families throughout the West Bank make the most of the generous earth. If I could take you on a tour of the West Bank we could go through village after village where I would point to ANERA’s work.
I would show you rain-harvesting cisterns, irrigation networks, farm-to-market roads and terracing, all built with ANERA’s help. I would tell you how we’re teaching home gardening and composting to families. I would show you farming cooperatives where we are boosting the production of sun-dried tomatoes and introduce you to farmers who have greenhouses because of your support.
Some of the families we help do not have much more than the ground beneath their feet and the air around them. We are giving them the tools to make the most out of what they do have and help them gain a little more independence.
Here, we celebrate the earth from season to season, aware of how vital this resource is to our survival.
To everyone who works with us and supports us, thank you.
Naser Qadous, ANERA Agricultural Projects Manager