ARAHA Water Programs
Essential for daily life and health, access to clean water is not always a simple proposition for families and communities in the Horn of Africa region (East Africa). In many parts of the region, the lack of adequate infrastructure to meet sustainable water solutions has caused much suffering, not to mention the ongoing cycle of drought and flooding caused by the effects of climate change. So women and children are often required to walk miles each day to fetch water from the nearest collection point for household and agricultural needs. These long walks put women and children at risk for violence or attack from wildlife, as well as preventing opportunities to pursue work or school. Furthermore, water collected from these distant locations is not always potable water and can lead to diseases, miscarriage, and even death sometimes. When you come to grip that not only rural areas but the majority of some countries in the region lack this basic human right: H2O. it might seem like a daunting task to undertake. But the solutions arecloser than the sunrise, and you will find that it’s not always about large scale infrastructure projects, but simple infrastructures can make a huge difference to sustain people for many years. For the past twenty years, with the support of our donors and partners, we have worked to provide sustainable water solutions suitable with the demographics and topography of each region and meeting the demands of different communities. We have installed close to 500 simple hand-pumped water wells across the region. Working with community leaders to build them within the village or a nearby school, which directly impacts the community health, wellness, and sanitation indicators. But equally importantly, no one has to walk for hours so they can pursue their education or a career. To further expand our comprehensive effort, over the past couple of years, we have been transitioning more into more innovative solutions. These include building solar water wells, installing water catchments at schools, and our latest pilot program; building Sand dams.
Sand dams are the most cost-effective solution to the ongoing cycle of drought in the Horn of Africa region. Sand Dams capture millions of liters of rainwater and store it underground. One Sand Dam can provide up to 1000 people with drinking water for up to a year without rainfall.
Why Sand Dams?
Over the past few decades, the Horn of Africa region has been known to have recurring droughts. And now with climate change and the El Niño weather pattern, you have both extremes; droughts, and floods. For many parts of this region, there is little to no infrastructure to contain the rainwater, and surge of river. So when it rains and there is a surge in the river, much of that is lost to the ocean.
Sand Dams can…
Combat desertification by recharging groundwater. Mitigate climate change by creating water security. Reduce conflict by increasing access to water. Support disaster resilience by creating a buffer against drought. Enable the installation of shallow wells producing safe drinking water.
General Water Support
Essential though it is for daily life and health, access to clean water is not always a simple proposition for families and communities in the Horn. Indeed, women and children are often required to walk miles each day in order to fetch water from the nearest well for household and agricultural needs. These long walks put women and children at risk of violence or attack from wildlife and people, and may also prevent opportunities to pursue work or school. Constructing water bore holes within or adjacent to villages has significant and direct impacts on community health, wellness, and sanitation indicators. As part of a comprehensive effort, ARAHA often seeks to incorporate sanitation improvements and training into water projects to multiply the benefits of each well we construct.