663 million people do not have proper access to a good water source—that’s 1 in 10 people in the world. A United Nations publication, “Safe Water as the Key to Global Health,” stated: “No other single intervention is more likely to have a significant impact on global poverty than the provision of safe water.”
Without water to drink, people can’t live. Without water for their crops and livestock, they can’t eat enough or earn a living. If their water isn’t clean, they won’t be healthy. If their water comes from a faraway source, they have to spend their days carrying it instead of going to school or earning an income—this affects women and girls the most.
Closely linked to clean water is sanitation. More than one-third of the world’s population—2.5 billion people—do not have improved sanitation facilities, and 1 billion of them still practice open defecation. Too often, this contaminates the community’s water source, threatening people’s health and lives.
Islamic Relief water and sanitation projects–both at the emergency and long-term levels–have been providing essential aid for many years. In places like Mali, Nepal, and Niger Islamic Relief is rehabilitating/constructing solar powered water wells, hygiene education, and upgrading sanitary facilities. As local water infrastructure is developed through these interventions they improve the ability of community members to earn livelihoods and work to increase education access for youth, especially girls.