Bringing water relief where needed

NABEELAH MOHEDEEN

Lansdowne-based Islamic Relief South Africa commemorated World Water Day on Tuesday March 22, by showcasing three of their current water projects in Durban, Mali, and Palestine.

Islamic Relief is an independent humanitarian organisation which has been operating for 30 years with a presence in over 40 countries around the globe.

Their most recent water project is currently under way in Durban where a borehole will be installed in an impoverished community, ensuring easy access to safe, and clean water. Another project, which is near completion, is a water well project built in the rural Dambe village in Mali. This project will directly benefit over 1 000 people. The third project is being rolled out to 13 vulnerable schools in the Gaza strip, Palestine.

Along with these water projects, Islamic Relief is also conducting sessions where 47 000 students will benefit from hygiene awareness, over 12 000 students will benefit from reliable and safe drinking water, and more than a 1 000 mothers will benefit from health and hygiene awareness.

Shanaaz Ebrahim, Islamic Relief communications manager, said the reason for the initiation of the water projects is to provide clean water to recipients to prevent contamination of diseases when consuming dirty water.

“Water is so much more than just a drink – it’s needed to cook food, water crops and livestock, wash hands and cooking pots to stop diseases spreading. Water is essential to life.

“Clean water is vital for drinking, growing food and keeping clean. A person can only survive without water on average three days, and if the water they have is dirty and contaminated, fatal diseases spread quickly and the effects are devastating,” Ms Ebrahim said.

The organisation also currently runs a public awareness campaign at the Osizweni Community Centre in Johannesburg which has become a hub for communal activities.

Guardians and child beneficiaries as well as community members from the neighbouring townships enjoy a healthy lifestyle programme at the centre. The organisation plans to run similar projects at schools in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal region.

“We are currently in the midst of our Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s (OVC) campaign, raising awareness about the plight of OVC in South Africa. According to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), there are more than 3.7 million orphans in the country. As an NGO, we are committed to trying to alleviate the suffering of these children,” she said.

She added that Islamic Relief is appealing to the public to consider sponsoring an orphan in South Africa from only R560 a month which will cover their food, stationery, uniforms, and ensure access to basic health care for the month.

Call the toll-free number 0800 111 898 or the Cape Town office in Lansdowne at 021 696 0145 or email info@islamic-relief.org.za for more information about Islamic Relief.