On average, women in Africa have to walk approximately 6km a day to get their water.
In the Tillaberi region of Niger, 40 year old Gambi Kailou lives with her seven
children. For her, “The main difficulties are food and water problems. We have only
a well for this village and it gets filled with sand and dirty running water during
the rainy season because it was dug in a seasonal river. Hence during the rainy
season we have to find water from neighbouring villages where it takes up to two
and half hours to get just a little amount”.
When asked how the villagers cope during such times, Gambi replies, “We rely on
community solidarity - it happens where those who have enough water can help those
in short supply. My daily need was 5 buckets but this was due to distance and availability
as there was a crowd waiting to collect their water. Sometimes I might not get more
than 2 buckets. I then ask my neighbour to assist me with more water”.
Islamic Relief started its operations in the Tillaberi region – during the Niger
food crisis in 2005 and has since sought to continue its work by focusing on water
and sanitation. In the region, more than 40% of the population don’t have access
to clean drinking water and as for sanitation, only 5% of the region’s needs are
The Water and Environmental Sanitation Improvement Project was designed to increase
access to potable water through the creation of wells and latrines and through setting
up and training Water and Sanitation Management committees. The project benefits
over 72,000 people.
One of those is Gambi. “This well constructed by Islamic Relief will solve all of
our water problems because of its closeness [to the village] and I will have more
time to use for my daily activities and I think I’ll even be able to do some gardening
through the use of the water”.
“Only Allah can reward Islamic Relief and those spending their money on poor people
like me. I’m thankful to them all.”
Find out more about Islamic Relief's Water and Sanitation projects
Find out more about Islamic Relief in Niger