The state-run Water Works Agency (DSİ) supplied water to 2.5 million people around the world with 591 water wells it drilled in Africa and Syria. The agency aims to bring water to needy communities as well in upcoming projects for Mauritania, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Albania, Montenegro and Slovenia.
The agency's priority is African countries stricken by drought and Syria, where ongoing civil war makes access to clean water a challenge for thousands. In Syria, the DSİ drilled 91 water wells in al-Rai, al-Bab, Azez, Mare and other towns in northern Syria which were liberated from the terrorist group Daesh by Turkish-backed Operation Euphrates Shield with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in 2016. Some 630,000 people in the region now have access to clean water. The DSİ also repaired 60 wells damaged in the Syrian war.
Turkey hosts world's largest Syrian refugee community, comprised of more than 3.5 million people who fled the war-torn country since 2011. To address to their needs, the DSİ drilled 30 wells for about 650,000 people in the Kahramanmaraş, Şanlıurfa and Adana provinces of the country, where the refugee population is high.
In Africa, the DSİ cooperated with the Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV) for 96 water wells in Mauritania to address the clean water needs of 415,000 people.
The agency is also behind a water supply project for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on the divided island south of Turkey which heavily relies on external water resources due to water shortages on the island.
Today marks World Water Day which aims to raise awareness of sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year's theme is "Leaving No One Behind." According to figures by the United Nations, 2.1 billion people live without safe water in their homes and more than 700 children under five die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation in the world. More than 68 million people in the world also face difficulty in accessing safe water resources as they have been forced to flee their homes due to conflicts and natural disasters. The U.N. says 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.