Mohammed is one of the over 80,000 beneficiaries of the emergency water supply provided by ACTED in Syria. As most of the Syrian population affected by the protracted crisis and the resulting humanitarian emergency, he and his family have been suffering from limited access to safe and clean water, which have lead them to adopt negative coping mechanisms, including depleting their income to buy drinkable water from private vendors.
At 74 years old, Mohammed is the head of a large family, with 6 children. As many other Syrians living in the countryside, his daily life revolves around herding the sheep, his family’s main source of income. By selling sheep, wool and dairy products, Mohammed, the only breadwinner of the family, manages to earn between 100 and 200 USD per month. This income, which varies depending on the season and the sales, enables him to meet his family’s needs.
Our daily life is like every other Syrian family’s life in the countryside, trying to make it one day at the time.
Access to safe and clean water is one of the family’s most urgent need, like all the other Syrian households. Prior to the beginning of ACTED’ project in its village, in order to address the household’s cooking, drinking and washing needs, Mohammed used to buy water from a private supplier. This however is a very expensive solution, as 1,000 litres of water cost 4 USD. As a consequence, Mohammed spent a significant proportion of his income on water, reducing the amount available for other equally essential expenses, such as medical services for one of his sick daughters. At the same time, as the destruction and lack of maintenance endured by the water infrastructure in his village made it impossible to access clean water anymore, he did not have any other choice but to buy it.
Through the daily provision of clean water supply for more than six months, ACTED made a significant contribution to the life of Mohammed, his family, and all the community members benefitting from this part of the project. By addressing the needs for suitable drinking water, ACTED contributed to ease the burden of households, who can now dedicate the part of their income previously spent on water to other priorities. Moreover, the safe and potable water provided has caused a reduction in the number of water-borne diseases, particularly among children, and an overall improvement in health of community members.
All residents were excited about the water distribution project. Their mood became calmer, and the community had become a more pleasant place to live in.