SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR A HEALTHY LIFE
Water, cheap when available, priceless when scarce, with every living cell in this vast universe depending on it. Our sweet homes would not be fit for life without this clear, gentle, and flowing magical liquid.
For most of us, the availability of water is something that we usually take for granted. But that’s not necessarily the case for the majority of IDPs in northern Syria. A large population of IDPs in this area is deprived of this basic and simple “bless”, most of them have no access to any sustainable source of water, and many continue to rely on unsafe, unclean, and untested sources of water, just because no other option is available.
This is how Mr. Wasel, an IPD from eastern Al-Maara who currently resides in Al-Maqbara camp, describes the hardships suffered by the camp’s residents due to the lack of access to sustainable clean water and their reliance on unknown sources: “We did not know the source of the water, but we had to drink it anyway, and (subsequently) spent our time visiting hospitals.”
As if this was not hard enough, due to the scarcity of water in this vast area, even this unclean water was hard to secure. The costs of purchasing water tanks were shared among several IDPs, and still, it was too expensive for many to buy. Mr. Wasel adds: “We did not have clean water because there was no government body or an organization following on this issue. The costs of purchasing water were high for us. We had to pay for both the price of water and the cost of the water tanks."
Another issue was finding ways to store this water in order to use it on a daily basis. Most of the IDPs had to use any available containers and those containers did not meet the safe storing criteria, as Wasel explains:
"We didn't have tanks to store water. We had to store it in the available plastic containers or cooking pots, but we couldn't keep it clean."
Against all these difficulties, the organized efforts made by Binaa for Development proved that solutions can be found by those who seek them. By providing free and sufficient drinking water to the camp’s residents, establishing local teams to monitor and test the water sources, sterilizing the water before it is transferred to the beneficiaries, and installing water tanks within easy reach of the IDPS, the critical water scarcity issue in the camps managed by the organization was nearing its end.
All of these measures reflected immediately and positively on the overall safety and health of the IDPs. in addition to lifting some of the financial burden off their shoulders: “The water provided by the organization helped alleviate the suffering of the people in the camp, and relieved us of a heavy financial burden, thanks to God. Water is now available for free. We have healthy drinking water. They gave us five tanks," Wasel describes
"The water provided by the organization helped alleviate the suffering of the people in the camp and relieved us of a heavy financial burden. Water is now available for free. We have healthy drinking water. They gave us five tanks"
All that said and done, there is still a need to increase the amount of water and the number of tanks. Wasel insists: “We want to speak and clarify, we need more water, what we currently get is not enough for all our needs. The number of tanks must also be increased.”
Understanding these needs and taking the necessary steps to solving them are two of the main goals that Binaa aims to achieve. No effort should be spared to improve the living conditions of the IDPs and to secure hope for a better, safer, and more sustainable future.