Starting today—World Water Day—at Islamic Relief USA, we’re turning our focus on water. It’s the most basic necessity required to sustain life. But close to 1 billion people in the world – one in seven people – don’t have a reliable source of clean water.
What does this really mean for them?
For Suad, a mother in Egypt, it means she has to prop a container under her sink to catch its slow trickle all night – and that’s all she has to use the next day. And sometimes it makes her family sick.
For Muda, a father in Kenya, it meant that he when the rain didn’t fall, he couldn’t grow his crops, 60 of the goats he relied upon so heavily died, and the rest were too skinny to sell and too weak to give milk for his children.
For Tiemoko, a boy in Mali, it means that water sits, not in protected pipes, but in stagnant pools, where mosquitoes can multiply and spread the malaria that he contracts over and over again.
For Shaima, an orphan in Afghanistan, it means every single time she and her mother need water to drink, cook or clean, they have to carry water in heavy buckets up the mountainside to their home at the top. That takes so much time, it makes it even harder for Shaima to get the chance to go to school.
When there’s not enough water, or it’s not clean, it’s hard to move on with any other aspect of life. Life revolves around finding water.
While the problems are many, the solutions are clear: Deep-water wells that draw from clean springs far below the contamination. Sanitation facilities that keep human waste out of water supplies. Irrigation systems that carry water gushing to farm fields, rain or no rain.
We’ve seen the difference these simple solutions can make.
Children become healthier.
Women can spend their time earning an income instead of carrying water, and girls can go to school.
Families can grow crops and keep their precious livestock alive.
Fathers have food to give to their little ones.
That’s what Muhammad Altaf in Dhair Galian village in Pakistan was most looking forward to—having enough food for his family.
In his village, the people’s lives used to revolve around getting water for their families.
“Due to the distance of our water source, we were facing lot of problems in fetching water,” resident Ajeeba Begum told us. “Sometimes we spent the whole night waiting for our turn to fetch water. It was a hectic routine and caused a lot of difficulty at times.”
Islamic Relief’s donors provided Dhair Galian with a drinking water supply system. The residents can now use the water for drinking and other domestic purposes. The impact has spread throughout their lives.
“All the households are benefiting from this water supply system,” said resident Irum Abbas. “Due to availability of clean drinking water, the condition of health and hygiene in the area has improved.”
With the extra time on their hands and water at their doorstep, many of the women are planning gardens to supplement their families’ diet and their income.
Muhammad Altaf is planning to grow crops with the water as well. The daily laborer struggles to earn enough money for his family. “Now I’m planning to cultivate vegetables and will put them on the market to increase my income,” he said.
In his village, the water made all the difference.
Thank you for being our partner in providing these solutions. Every drop counts.