Since Muslim Aid Sri Lanka Field office (MASL) was established 22 years ago, Muslim Aid’s water projects have helped poor people secure access to safe water, reducing the health risks and making it easier for people to be economically productive.
Rural communities in Sri Lanka, where most of the country’s poor live, depend heavily on water for agriculture and livestock breeding. Muslim Aid Sri Lanka Field Office (MASL) identified six districts in urgent need of improved water supply – Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Monaragala, Kurunegala, Kandy and Galle.
In Monaragala, the major source of income is labouring and paddy cultivation. However many people had to depend on a poorly-dug well for all their water needs. During the drought, they had to walk long distances to collect water.
An integrated programme to construct small scale water supply schemes as well as provide health and hygiene awareness is being undertaken by funds raised, in conjunction with the UN's Water for Life Campaign. MASL has constructed one well in the Moneragala district, one of the poorest and driest in the country.
The well is is 6.5 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep and took a little less than two months to complete. The project was undertaken with MASL’s local partner, Moneragala District Inter University Muslim Majlis (MODIUMM). Some 15 Muslim and Sinhalese families have benefitted from the construction of the well.
Sandya Wijithakumara is one of the beneficiaries of the MASL’s well construction.
"Before the well, we could only cultivate our fields from December to February. During the other months there was no water and we found it difficult to live. .We are very happy that Muslim Aid was able to build us this well. I have children in school so they have to bathe everyda and we use it for cooking and cleaning. Now that there is access to water, more people can live here."
Another well is under construction in Thambala in the Polonnaruwa district and is expected to be completed shortly.
Every year Muslim Aid provides funds for digging wells, sinking boreholes and providing clean water and sanitation in countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Kenya.