Safe Access to Clean Water in Somalia


Clean Water is Only Half the Story for a Mother and her Children in Somalia

What does “safe water” mean to you? For most of us, it means water that won’t make us sick if we drink it. To many Somali women and their children that’s only half the story, since fetching water is as dangerous as drinking it when it’s contaminated.

Mercy-USA believes that by helping rural and urban communities with the basic of life­—clean water, we can make positive contributions to the entire country’s steps toward stability and a resurgence of prosperity. Safe access to clean water improves the lives of an entire community but most of all, it improves the quality of life for women and girls, as the chore of fetching water falls on them in this traditional society.

Hinda’s Story in Somaliland

3-year-old Mushtaq, (at left) did the work of an adult until her village got a new clean water well. Before Mercy-USA for Aid and Development built a well in their village this year, Mushtaq’s mother, Hinda, (in green above) told us that her little girl, Mushtaq helped her bring water from the seasonal dam miles away. Filled from rains for the first time in several years, the water served all the needs of the surrounding villages, including watering the livestock, washing clothes as well as drinking. Children often became sick with water-borne diseases caused by sharing the same stagnant water source with livestock.
“Before Mercy-USA recently built wells near my home, my life and that of my daughter Mushtaq revolved around fetching water and finding ways to store it. Mushtaq is just three-years-old and had to walk a far distance with me to the seasonal dam four times in a day. She filled her 10-liter jerry can and I filled two 20-liter jerry cans for four times a day. When the dam was dried up we were forced to trek for miles under the scorching sun in search of water. Most days I couldn’t leave Mushtaq behind because she is still very young. Even when the seasonal dam had water, we often had to wait hours for thirsty camels and sheep to fill their stomachs first before we had a chance to fill our containers but then the water was not clean. It was making the children in our community sick. I thought the struggle for water would never end. I worried about water more than anything else in my life. Now, Mercy-USA has built wells…It’s been so long since I saw clean water in my village; it’s like a miracle. Mushtaq will be turning four next year and I now see a future where she doesn’t have to worry about water. With the wells, I have new hope my daughter will attend school. Cases of diarrhea will disappear and all our children will grow up strong and healthy!”

Three generations of women now benefit from clean water in Hinda’s village.






Well construction, conducted by Mercy-USA with funds provided by private donations, has changed the lives of tens of thousands in Somalia. A nearby well gives time and safety to women and gives their daughters the same opportunity existing for education that their sons enjoy.

According to UNICEF research, only a third of Somali families have access to clean drinking water. Since 1997, Mercy-USA has played a vital role in providing safe drinking water in Somalia, digging and repairing over 700 wells. Communities with a combined population of over 750,000 persons are benefiting from this safe water program.

There are many ways you can help sponsor the establishment of a well in Somalia:

  • Sponsor a well with a lump sum donation of $3,500 ($4,440 CAD) or spread out the payments over 12 or fewer months.
  • Enlist friends or family to join you in funding a well in the name of a loved one; your community; school; or youth group.
  • Your gift of any amount will go toward safe water for Somalia.

Your generous charitable gift supports Mercy-USA’s work to bring clean water to Somalia.