Shueb’s village now has clean water on tap

Shueb used to wake at 2am to begin the 12-hour round trip from Wajale in Somaliland to Aw-Barre village in Ethiopia every other day.

He and his brother-in-law Abdi would walk 30km with their donkey cart to fetch 80 litres of water each for their families.

“We had to leave early or other people would have got there before us and there might not be enough water left,” says Shueb, 40.

“Sometimes I couldn’t find enough water. Sometimes I had to stay for three or four hours to get enough.

“There was no other option.”

Shueb shows us a picture of the only alternative, a sheet of plastic capturing water in a hole in the ground.

The dirty, brown water was open to the elements as well as hyenas and other animals.

Now, Shueb and Abdi have been appointed as caretakers at a borehole drilled by Islamic Relief and powered by a large array of solar panels at Degmada Magaala, near Wajale.

Project costs of $162,000 covered the drilling, solar technology and infrastructure.

Shueb says: “You see me now and you can see how much my life has changed.

Shueb at the water tank (edit)“In February and March when the drought here was at its worst the borehole was working non-stop, 24 hours a day.

“People were travelling up to 50km, with their camels just to come here and fetch water.

“Some of the animals looked like they were at the point of death.”

Anyone can collect a 200-litre barrel of water here for 50 cents (which covers the costs of the generator, general maintenance and the caretakers).

The well yields up to 20,000 litres per hour and 200,000 litres per day, providing enough water to meet the needs of 40,000 people.

It’s expected to last 60 to 70 years – an entire lifetime.

Islamic Relief is drilling 36 boreholes across Somaliland and Puntland and equipping them with solar-powered pumps to bring sustainable supplies of clean water all year round.

Please help the drought-affected communities like Shueb’s by supporting our East African Climate Crisis appeal. 

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