Dr Mahmoud Sheikh, HARDA’s Director of Overseas Aid,  negotiated an agreement between HARDA and the Oorqaani communities in Southern Somalia for a water harvesting project. The project, generously funded by Muslim Aid Australia, was completed in Feb 2011. This water harvesting and reservoir/storage project provides clean safe drinking water water storage system for the community.

Clean safe water for 20,000 villagers in Southern Somalia

The project, funded by Muslim Aid Australia, involves construction of two large underground water reservoirs. Water collected from surface ponds and bore holes is piped into the underground reservoirs which provides safe access within the village boundaries and prevents evaporation in the very hot climate.

In addition to controlling malaria-carrying anopheles mosquitos, underground storage stops contamination by the domestic and native animals that pollute the surface water holes and controls water borne diseases due to bacteria and parasites. Physical safety is also an important issue. Continuous attacks from rebel groups and marauders from neighbouring villages compete with the Oorgaani for scarce water, often threatening the safety of the women and girls who carry water from the surface ponds.

Design, based on proven technology,  involved making about 200,000 red bricks and transporting cement, slates, metal bars, plastic sheets, pipes and timber to the site. Project management was a joint responsibility, shared by the Waso Resources Development Agency (an African NGO), HARDA and the village chiefs who monitor edconstruction progress on a daily basis.