East Africa goes through a reoccurring cycle of drought and in some cases this deteriorates into famine every few years.  The loss of life in these cases, due to the lack of water, is unacceptable.  Because communities go for months on end without rainfall, they are forced to drink contaminated water that is full of diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea, cholera and other serious illnesses.  A child dies every 25 seconds because of water borne diseases. 

In these parts of Africa, the only clean source of water that is available is hundreds of meters below the ground.  The huge aquifers that hold millions of litres of pure safe drinking water cannot be accessed easily.  For this a special drill is used that can dig thousands of meters into the ground.

Once the hole is dug, a submersible pump is lowered into the water source and is connected to a power source above ground, either a solar powered battery or a generator.  The water is pumped up through the pipe and into a storage tank.  The tank can hold approximately 35,000 litres of water at a time and is usually filled twice a day. That’s 70,000 litres of clean, pure, safe drinking water a day!

The storage tank has a network of pipes that supplies water to water kiosks where families can come and fill their jerry cans with water.  This means that women and children do not need to spend up to 7 hours a day walking to a contaminated water source.  Children can spend time at school and not be at the risk of attack on their long journeys in search of water.

Since many of the affected people are from farming communities, their livestock is essential for their survival.  The borehole project includes water troughs for animals to drink from to ensure that families do not lose their livestock, and therefore their means for survival. 

Islamic Relief has already implemented numerous borehole projects across Africa, providing a regular and safe supply of water to tens of thousands of families.  However, the need is still huge and there are many more communities that require our assistance. 

These projects have an estimated life span of around 80 years, which means that an entire generation could have clean water every single day.  An amazing Sadaqah Jariya. 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The best charity is giving water to drink” and He ﷺ was the most generous in giving charity – Ahmad. 


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