Lifesaving water support
785 million people across the globe do not have access to clean water. As a result, many suffer from dehydration and disease, and some lose their lives.
Water is needed for everyday tasks such as washing and cooking, and many have to travel long distances to find small amounts of water, if they can find any at all.
Water is also needed for rearing livestock and watering crops. When rainfall and water supplies run low, many lose their livelihoods and struggle to feed their families.
Islamic Relief work with vulnerable communities to help create safe and reliable water sources.
Our focus is on creating long-term and sustainable water sources. Our lifesaving interventions include installing irrigation systems, building water tanks, training communities, distributing hygiene kits and repairing viable water systems.
Below are some examples some of the techniques we implement so that communities have a reliable source of water.
Solar powered boreholes
Solar-powered boreholes offer a long-term solution to water scarcity and provide water to thousands of people. The water is pumped from the ground, using electricity generated from solar panels, making it a reliable clean, sustainable solution – even in the most remote areas.
The boreholes come with a water tank and an additional water distribution system. Islamic Relief also establish water management committees. 10 people per borehole are trained in water infrastructure management to ensure that the community benefits as much as possible from the water source.
After the borehole is drilled and fully set-up, the local community have a safe supply of water for drinking and irrigation. This eradicates the risk of contracting water-borne disease and enhances food production.
Drip irrigation system
Drip irrigation is a specialised type of micro-irrigation which allows for water and nutrients to reach the roots of plant slowly and continuously. This provides a reliable source of water to local farmers.
Farmers are also trained with the skills they need to use and maintain this technology to ensure long-term sustainability.
The benefits of drip irrigation are vast: crop yields are normally double that of those yielded using tradition methods. Drip irrigation requires less labour, water and fertilisers and overall, these systems increase the productivity of crops, whilst reducing seasonal production costs for small holder farmers.
Micro dams are a great way to capture and store water for agricultural and domestic use. Islamic Relief has constructed micro dams in Mali to which store rainwater, which can later be used by local farmers to irrigate their crops. This has helped to improved food production and is helping to improve livelihoods for local families.
The micro dams are helping communities to combat the effect of climate change. They’re also helping women to become increasingly engaged within their communities, and are providing jobs for young people.
Flash flooding can ruin water supplies and spread water-borne diseases such as cholera. In some areas that are prone to regular flooding, such as in Bangladesh, ensuring water sources are not polluted is very important.
In order to maintain a supply of clean, safe water for communities in need, we’ve installed flood-resistant hand pumps. These specialised pumps are installed five feet above ground level and the body of water is covered sufficiently to ensure flood water doesn’t seep through.
These pumps typically each serve hundreds of families and ensure people do not need to take long journeys on a daily basis to collect clean water.
Rainwater storage cellar
In many countries, rainfall is seasonal and communities experience heavy rains followed by long periods of no rainfall at all. Ensuring water is effectively captured during heavy rainfall is essential to ensuring survival during the long, dry months.
One effective remedy to the lack of water has been to build large water storage cellars that capture large quantities of rainwater during the rainy season, which is then used for drinking as well as for irrigation of crops.
The storage cellars are helping thousands of farmers gain access to clean water for their crops and their livestock in order to earn a living from which to feed their families.
During times of emergency, many families are forced to flee their homes and urgently need access to clean water. The most effective way to provide fresh clean water is through water trucks.
Water trucking sometimes continues for a longer period of time, until longer-term solutions are developed.
Water trucking is an emergency response in almost all environments, as long as a reliable water source is available nearby.
This water is often a lifeline for vulnerable families.
Rainwater harvesting system
Rainwater is a natural source which can be harvested and stored to provide an ongoing water source. Ensuring water is effectively captured during heavy rainfall is essential to ensuring survival during dry periods.
Islamic Relief provide families with the tools and knowledge to gather rainwater in their local area, which they can later use to help grow food. This way of catching and storing water is particularly useful for those living in hilly or mountainous regions and provides families with easy access to clean water.
Water ponds are designed to catch and store water, which can be used for cooking and for agricultural purposes such as watering crops. Water-catchment has become increasing important to people living in areas affected by extremely hot weather and environmental shocks. Water ponds provide crucial access to safe water and helps to save lives.
Water desalination plants
Desalination is a critical process that removes salts and other minerals from salty water. In many places around the world, such as Gaza, desalination has become an essential water supply option, as these places lack freshwater but have access to seawater.
Due to the relatively high cost to maintain, this option is only suitable in a communal setting, such as in schools. It is only feasible to construct and maintain small desalination plants.
In Gaza, we’ve built small water desalination plants at specialist children’s centres, which look after children with special needs. This ensures children have a safe clean supply of water while they are in school.
Please donate to support our water programmes across the globe and help save lives.