Due to world-wide travel restrictions, our work has temporarily slowed down. Mahmoud, our Sinai Manager, is still visiting all the projects, and checking all the completed wells are still in working condition. Our UK Project Manager has visited Sinai in September 2020 and in March 2021. It is hoped that further visits will take place this year.
Projects are initiated and funded during visits by the UK Project Manager and the normal program of visits has had to be curtailed. Future visits will be organised as and when travelling is practical. We aim to keep the work of restoring wells and supporting our teaching projects continuing as much as possible.
So far, the virus has made little impact on the St Katherines’s area, mainly due to a lock down travel ban on all visitors to the area in the spring. We hope our friends will be safe during this difficult time. Life is more difficult with fewer sources of income without visitors, so more people are growing their own food. The rains have made the mountains bloom with herbs and plants for grazing so many people will be able to sell their goats for a good price this year.
Due to relatively large rains over the winter, there was plenty of water in the wells for the gardens in the spring of 2020 and they were able to grow lots of vegetables over the summer. The early apricot blooms were damaged by frosts so there will not be a good apricot harvest this year but all the other fruit and nut harvests have been abundant. More heavy rain falling on Mt St Katherine has further raised the water levels and everyone is benefiting from an unusual abundance of water during the Autumn and Winter of 2020.
Most of the projects initiated by the Makhad Trust are run by Bedouin themselves. They supervise the restoration work of their wells, and there are Bedouin running the Herbal Horticulture course, the Carpentry School and the Beekeeping course. The Bedouin community does not lack skills but it does lack the financial resources to make things happen. Volunteers from UK, Europe and Australia have worked alongside Bedouin on all our dams, contributing with their labour and their journey fee. The projects are overseen by our UK Project Manager, Helen and our Sinai Manager, Mahmoud. You can read about all the projects and our journeys in the Friends Newsletter and in the Makhad News pages. News changes fast and these pages will be updated regularly with local events that the Makhad Trust and the Friends are involved with.
If you would like to help by joining a journey, please contact us via the Contact page.
You can also listen to some of our videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/makhadtrust