Past and Present
Since it is just over 2 years since the start of the pandemic and lockdowns began, it seems a good time to review how the Makhad Trust and our beneficiaries have been affected.
Whilst there is no population data that we are aware of concerning the impact of Covid-19 on the Bedouin population, anecdotal evidence and news from the Bedouin grapevine suggests that many Bedouin have caught Covid-19 and some have died with it. Mahmoud, our Sinai Manager, thinks that the pandemic has been most devastating to the Bedouin in the coastal communities and in the cities, particularly for those with pre-existing diseases. It seems that the earlier, and stronger, strains of the virus did not have quite the impact that other countries experienced, but there were still deaths and illness for many. Mahmoud thinks that the Bedouin in the mountains have been less affected because they live at altitude and have stronger lungs. Certainly, those Bedouin who work as guides and the women who take the goats grazing every day have very active lives and climb the mountains all the time. We hope the worst is over now.
The pandemic has brought its own challenges to running the projects. The first project management trip of 2020 was cancelled with two days’ notice as the world began to shut down. With partial reopening, a trip was made in September 2020. Donations to the projects, particularly to the wells projects, dropped by nearly half, though there was a welcome resumption to the flow of funds in 2021. Our usual target is to start and complete around 45 wells in a year with four ‘feeder’ trips by the project manager. Since the pandemic started, there have been four trips in total but we have been able to start 66 new wells and 64 have been completed. We are very grateful to all our funders for continuing to support our work and for relaxing expectations around report dates on funding. The Trust has also managed to keep the other projects rolling too, including the Carpentry School and the Orphan Herb Growing Course.
Now that travel restrictions have mostly been dispensed with, at least between UK and Egypt, facilitating the projects will revert to the previous plan of 4 trips a year by the Project Manger, to oversee the projects, with the aim of funding 50 new wells each year. In addition a working journey is planned for anyone wanting to participate in building a new dam. See the Journeys pages.
You can read about all the projects and our journeys in the Journey Report and Newsletters posted under the News page. News changes fast and these pages will be updated regularly with local events that the Makhad Trust 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