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This article is a part ofWater & Sanitation
Muslim Aid’s Dig a Well project aims to provide safe and secure access to clean drinking water to those most in need. The wells are funded by individual donors and the project currently operates in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Sudan. We are looking to expand the project, and are looking to implement the project in new countries.
Q1: How long will it take to build my well? Why?
We estimate that each well will take 7-12 months to complete. This is because we ensure that the site is thoroughly inspected and chemically tested for water purity, and planning permission is sought from local authorities, after which we begin the building process.
Q2: Why are the prices of wells different in each country?
Each country has its own costs for materials and labour work to build the well. Furthermore, some areas are more difficult to access, dig and procure a water source - for example Sudan.
Q3: How long is the life expectancy of a well?
Usually around 10 years but that is dependent on the country and the usage of the well.
Q4: How will I know when my well has been completed?
Due to the sheer volume of wells, we do not issue progress reports; however, specific inquiries are welcome. We ask that donors allow 7-12 months for completion, after which we receive a full completion report from the respective office. Our donors will receive a short completion report when the well is completed.
Q5: What is included in the completion report for my well?
We produce a completion report for every well donated. The report includes the exact location of the well, a description of the building process, a personal statement from the beneficiary, and photographs of the well with its personalised plaque. You can specify the short plaque name when you make the donation (note: plaque will appear exactly as stated, so please take care with spelling etc.)
Q6: How does Muslim Aid select a location for the well?
Our field offices and our local partners on ground pinpoint areas most in need of our well donations. Some donors request specific areas and although we will try our utmost best accommodate for these preferences, the objective of this project is to prioritise those most in need.
Q7: Who safeguards and maintains the well after it has been built?
We provide minor repair training for beneficiary groups as part of their ownership schemes, and set up a community-based maintenance committee which is responsible for the well. For major issues, they are advised to contact their respective Muslim Aid offices.
Q8: Can a well be donated as Sadaqa Jariya (ongoing charity)?
Wells benefit numerous people over a prolonged period. Donors often donate wells as Sadaqa Jariya, for themselves and on behalf of others – including deceased loved ones.
Q9: What happens to my well at the end of its life span?
Some wells last longer than their estimated life time, depending on the hydro-geology of the area, as long as they are adequately maintained. However, once we are informed that a well has dried up, we will aim to implement another well nearby.
Q10: What is the purpose of the General Fund?
Some donors give smaller partial donations towards a well, which go into our general fund. If several donors donate, we will allocate wells at our discretion. However, we do not include a name plaque for these wells, as several donors have donated towards the one well.