A woman in Niger getting water from a well installed by Islamic Relief Waqf

Niger – Gambi’s Story

Gambi Kailou, 40, lives in Niger’s Tillaberi region. She and her seven children benefitted from an Islamic Relief project to improve access to water and sanitation in her village.

The world’s poorest communities typically struggle without access to even basic services – including water and sanitation. Often, women and children bear the time-consuming and physically demanding burden of fetching water. On average, women in Africa have to walk approximately six kilometers a day to collect water.

“The main difficulties are food and water problems,” said Gambi. “We have only a well for this village and it gets filled with sand and dirty running water during the rainy season. During the rainy season we have to find water from neighbouring villages. It takes up to two and half hours to get just a little amount”.

“We rely on community solidarity – where those who have enough water can help those in short supply,” Gambi told us, explaining that she needed five buckets of water a day but sometimes could only get much less. Neighbours would provide her with the extra water she needed.

Islamic Relief extended its emergency response to Niger’s food crisis in the Tillaberi region, where over 40 per cent of the population does not have access to clean water and just five per cent of the area’s sanitation needs are covered.

The Waqf Future Fund provided funding for a project designed to change that. The Water and Environmental Sanitation Improvement Project saw wells and latrines constructed, and local communities empowered to manage and maintain their new facilities. When complete, it will benefit over 72,000 people – including Ganbi.

“The well constructed by Islamic Relief Waqf will solve all of our water problems, because of its closeness [to the village],” she said. “I will have more time to use for my daily activities and I think I’ll even be able to do some gardening using the water”.

“Only Allah can reward Islamic Relief and those spending their money on poor people like me. I’m thankful to them all.”

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