The Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV), a charity linked to the state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs, opened 17 water wells in three African countries, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo, recently as part of their "A Drop of Life" project. The project helps the population in those areas with access to clean water.
Other than these three countries the charity has also opened dozens of wells in 12 other African countries, bringing water to disadvantaged communities to 15 countries on the continent.
Water wells built at central locations in villages save time for villagers and offers access to water for livestock in places where locals depend on livestock breeding for a living.
In a world where more than 2 billion people still lack access to clean water, Turkish charities have opened water wells all over Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
According to data obtained by Anadolu Agency (AA), 10 Turkish charities have established more than 8,800 water wells around the world so far.
The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) opened more than 3,400 water wells in 30 countries, the Cansuyu Charity and Solidarity Organization opened more than 1,270 water wells in 13 countries while the Yardımeli International Humanitarian Aid Agency opened more than 1,100 wells in seven countries, and the Hayrat Aid Foundation opened 872 wells in 17 countries. The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has put over 500 water wells into operation in five years and also realized several projects in Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Sudan, Cambodia, Niger and Tunisia, which support sustainable development and provide millions of people with water, along with water for fertile soil. The Turkish Red Crescent has completed six projects in Gaza, which will meet the water needs of 400,000 people, as part of the Gaza Strip Drinking Water Rehabilitation Project.
The TDV focuses its water well projects in areas where there is no access to clean drinking water due to economic impossibilities, harsh climate conditions, water scarcity or a lack of ways to extract it.
The wells made within the scope of the projects are powered by electrical and solar energy, while the water is pumped with electric pumps and people make use of the water through taps. The artesian wells have a depth of about 120 meters and will meet the clean drinking water demand of the region for 20 to 30 years on average.
Africa is home to 11 percent of the world's water reserves, but figures show water consumption per person is 10 liters in Africa, with people in mostly rural areas having to travel up to six kilometers for access to clean water.
Apart from the usual health and hygiene problems, water shortages also create an indirect challenge to education. Children are often responsible for fetching water for their families and have to walk for kilometers every day to find water in streams and ponds. The unclean water they fetch from these sources causes the spread of waterborne diseases.