This week, B.C. & Mordant welcome Belkacem Nahi to shed light on the water crisis in Africa as the annual Islamic Relief USA Walk for Water approaches. The walk is not just a chance to spend time with family and friends and get outdoors—it’s a chance to save lives.
Nahi helps listeners understand a humanitarian crisis that is difficult to grasp. He visited Africa two months ago, and his first-hand accounts are eye opening. “You can’t imagine,” he says. “I was in the worst refugee camp in Africa. In Dadaab camp, where we have almost 365,000 people living there with no water, no food, nothing… just waiting for someone to give them food to eat.” The goal of the Walk for Water is to respond to that urgent need by raising money to help.
The Walk for Water is a 5K, but in Dadaab, the walk for water is 25 kilometers, one way. That’s a total of 36 miles to and from the closest water source. If a family is lucky, they have one donkey that can help carry the water. But if not, as is often the case, they must travel that entire distance by foot to bring home just a few gallons of hot water.
He reveals that it is in fact the children, young girls and boys, who must retrieve the water while their mother tends to the “house,” a term that loosely describes a collection of branches holding up a roof of plastic bags. Nahi explains the repercussions of children spending their days fetching water. “It means, there is no education. It means the next generation is lost,” he says.
This episode opens eyes to the reality of a dire situation. But through Nahi’s stories, there are glimmers of hope. There is an opportunity to help.
Tune in to hear Nahi’s experiences in his own words. Listen to a story of a woman who waited 65 years to finally see her grandson in school, thanks to the installment of a new community well. Hear his account of a woman in a hospital, who was almost forced to choose between her two sons. “You see the death there in front of you,” he says.
“When you come back, your mind is changed. The way you’re looking at life is changed.”
You can sign up to participate in Islamic Relief USA’s Walk for Water at IRUSA.org/walk.
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“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge & Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!
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