Out of many challenges, comes one goal: WATER.
IRUSA is moving into its second year of team challenges and our host teams are excited to take part in what participants from last year called “exciting” and “fulfilling.”
In March 2019, the Islamic Relief USA team trekked across the Sahara in Morocco. In the coming months our teams will travel to Bosnia, Turkey, and Peru.
But the why is the most important ingredient of all. Team challenges present a fun an innovative way to support crucial projects that IRUSA is partnering to provide. Here’s a look at what those are:
Drought Takes Hold in Somalia
Global warming is a crisis IRUSA is tackling head-on, and will continue to do for the foreseeable future. That’s because it’s effects have begun to take hold in countless regions we serve.
Somalia in particular is one of many countries that have suffered greatly. As of summer 2019, Somali communities are being mired by a drought that has intensified over the past three years and turned into full-out crisis.
“At this point in the season, any rainfall received will be too little and too late to reverse the impact of the drought,” stated Ursula Mueller, OCHA Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.
What this ultimately means is that the crops and livestock that communities work to cultivate to feed their families have failed or are failing. The water sources they’ve utilized for years are depleted or nearly depleted.
Sand Dams: A Long-Term Solution
IRUSA is working with local communities to build sand dams as a way of conserving rainfall and making water available to families. Sand dams are a long-term solution to a drought. The dam is built around a seasonal sandy river, and capturing rainwater while recharging groundwater. The dam structures are the most efficient way to conserve water in dryland environments, and can last for decades.
What makes the projects even more special is that local communities will be supported in the development and maintenance of their sand dam.
Any funds raise from Islamic Relief USA challenges are used to support the sand dams, which will bring clean water to entire communities, creating generational change.
Somalia ranks 4th highest in the globe in internal displacement, with over 2.5 million people displaced. As droughts continue, IRUSA is keeping water conservation in Somalia a top priority. The recent construction of the first two sand dams in the area marks the beginning of long-term efforts to aid, and hopefully end, the humanitarian water crisis.