Water & Sanitation2018-09-18T22:54:05+00:00

Together for Water

Water is the driving force of all living things. There is no life without it, and for far too many people living in vulnerable and displaced communities, it remains a rare luxury. Preserving the quality of clean water is vital for good health as contaminated water can cause infectious diseases. A staggering 844 million people are living without access to safe water, and one million people die each year due to poor sanitation and hygiene practices1. As the global population continues to increase, the demand for clean drinking water is overflowing.

Water Wells Built

Thousands of Families are waiting for your donation

UMR is building water wells in the following countries:
Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia

The water crisis coincides with the urgent need for better sanitation and hygiene practices. Women and young girls are disproportionately affected by the water crisis with 64% (almost two-thirds) of households relying on women to fetch the family’s water2. For some, the arduous journey can last up to 6 hours in extreme hot weather conditions3.

UMR understands the worth of water, and we believe that everyone has a fundamental human right to fresh water. Clean water not only influences the survival and development of children, most marginalized communities have limited or no access to safe clean drinking water. In today’s world people are still living without the basic necessity (water), 1 in 9 people do not have access to safe drinking water, many children are forced to go without this basic human need4. The water crisis is a severe issue in Somalia with just 45% of Somalis having access to sufficient water sources. 75% of the population don’t have access to improved sanitation or hygiene practices, which can lead to diseases such as cholera among women and children5.

Below average rainfall in 2016 paired with El Nino-induced weather extremes which had a serious impact on the livelihoods, as well as the food and water systems, across the Horn of Africa. The water shortage led to a humanitarian crisis in these countries, including Somalia.

A newborn dies every minute from infection caused by lack of safe and clean water6. A further 842,000 people perish each year from diarrhea as a result of drinking unsafe water7. UMR WASH Project focuses on improving the availability of clean water and sanitation to 2,500 vulnerable households located in IDP camps and host communities in the Gedo Region, Somalia. This program will be achieved through the rehabilitation of existing water sources, providing water treatment systems and the provision of adequate hygiene facilities including latrines. Hygiene promotion sessions will also be carried out by trained hygiene promoters to push for positive behavioral change.

UMR Dig Well Project

UMR Dig Well project constructed 225 water wells, hand pumps, and deep tubes in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Started in 2015, the objective of this three-year project is to enable and accelerate universal access to improved drinking water sources and hygienic sanitation in the rural areas of our priority countries, identified by the largest inequality between rural and urban Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) coverage.

UMR Dig Well project was designed and implemented in partnership with Muslim Aid, and in consultation with local community members, chiefdom and leaders as appropriate, as well as local government officials.

This project completion report details the overall project guiding principles, results, and specific country‐level context which was addressed.

  1. Our grassroots effort contributing to UN 2030 SDG targets no. 1.4, 6.1 and 6.2.

UMR’s WASH program efforts are guided by the recommendations of the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (UNICEF/WHO JMP) to eliminate inequalities in WASH coverage and “leave no one behind”. For example, the JMP highlights that [although] the proportion of the global population practising open defecation decreased from 20 per cent to 12 per cent between 2000 and 2015, much remains to be done, especially in rural areas, where open defecation has been declining at a rate of just 0.7 percentage points per year. The JMP recommended that this rate would need to more than double in order to eliminate open defecation in rural areas by 2030.1

Table 1. Relevant UN 2030 SDG Targets

Global goals, targets and indicators for drinking water, sanitation and hygiene

Ending open defecation By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations Population practicing open defecation
Achieving universal access to basic services By 2030, ensure all men and women, in particular the poor and vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services… Population living in households with access to basic services (including basic drinking water, sanitation and hygiene)
Progress towards safely managed services By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
Population using safely managed drinking water services
Population using safely managed sanitation services
Population with a basic hand washing facility with soap and water available on premises
  1. Community engagement and staff capacity building as key for sustainable implementation

To implement, UMR project carried out consultations with local government and local leaders to identify the priority beneficiaries and priority concerns of the community to be addressed.

In addition, staff responsible for implementation of the project received orientation and training on aspects of (water-well installation) strategy, procurement rules and procedures, reporting and record keeping in order to streamline future monitoring and evaluation, and avoid doubling of development efforts.

Finally, the project staff conducted sensitization training for beneficiaries on water safety, benefits of safe water, personal/environmental hygiene and maintenance of wells, etc. to ensure effectiveness and long-lasting results.

  1. Closing the Gender Gap: A Commitment to Universal2 Access

In addition to UMR’s efforts to close the rural-urban gap, UMR’s Dig Well project paid special attention to alleviate the double burden of access to clean water upon women and girls. Previous JMP analysis has shown that water collection from unimproved sources and surface water is more likely to take over 30 minutes, representing a double burden for women.3 This is most felt as women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8 out of 10 households with water off premises, so reducing the population with limited drinking water services will have a strong gender impact.4


Country Program # of Wells # of Beneficiaries
Cambodia Water Well 3 763
Hand Pump Well 6 396
Shallow Tube Ring Well 11 209
Pakistan Modified Shallow Well 5 25,340
Open Surface Well 5 22,085
Shallow Well 83 345,208
Bangladesh Deep Tube Well 1 500
Semi Deep Tube Well 3 520
Shallow Tube Well 108 3,284
Total 225 398,305



Pakistan WASH

Pakistan WASH Absolute inequalities are greatest in countries with the largest spread between the richest and the poorest, such as […] Pakistan for hygiene.1 Despite the access of 91% to improved water


Cambodia WASH

Cambodia WASH Cambodia has the lowest rural sanitation coverage in the region. Sustainable water access remains a challenge, with high rates of inoperable water facilities. Rural access to both water and sanitation


Bangladesh WASH

Bangladesh WASH Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with more than 1000 people per square kilometer.1 Three quarters of the population live in rural areas, where

1JMP Report: Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/launch-version-report-jmp-water-sanitation-hygiene.pdf
2Universal access not only implies extending access to the entire population, but also sustaining access in the face of social and economic change. (For more details, see JMP, p.11).
3JMP Report
4JMP Report