Déby’s family struggled to feed themselves before Islamic Relief installed a new water system in their village – even though she woke up at 5am every day to tend to her fields. Now, harnessing the power of the sun, our solar-powered water system is enabling Déby to not only feed her grandchildren – she’s hoping to sell the extra crops and pay for them to go to school.
“I’m very happy today. Thanks to Allah and Islamic Relief, I harvested enough cereals and vegetables for my family.”
Déby Samaké is 49, and lives with her husband and children in a small straw and mud house in Ouéléssébougou, Mali. Each morning, she wakes up at 5am to pray and tend to her rice fields, but regular drought means that the harvest is rarely enough to feed her family all year round. “Our main problem is food insufficiency and lack of money,” she told us.
Islamic Relief built an innovative water system in Déby’s village: a micro-dam to catch and store rainwater during the rainy months, storing it for use in the long, dry periods, and three solar-powered systems to distribute the water throughout the village.
The change to Déby and her family’s lives has been huge: “Thanks to the dam, our situation is improving. Despite the rain shortage, I’m growing half a hectare of rice and half a hectare of vegetables. Next year, I hope to increase my production, growing enough food for my family and selling the rest to meet my grandchildren’s basic needs: health, education and clothing.”
For Déby and her village, this project has provided so much more than just water – it’s given their children and grandchildren hope for a better future.
Islamic Relief has worked in Mali since 1997, helping victims of the country’s civil war recover from devastating conflict. We work in areas of sustainable development including water, education, community empowerment and child welfare. We also respond with life-saving emergency relief when disaster strikes, providing food aid in the wake of droughts and hunger crises.
Access to clean water is a cornerstone of life, and without it, fighting poverty is extremely difficult. Islamic Relief works to provide long-term access to clean water around the world, using innovative and sustainable methods tailored to the region. From rainwater catchment systems to micro-dams, we don’t keep digging wells in areas where they keep failing – we find a water solution to fit.