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November 19 News

We have now restored 476 wells!

We are hoping to make it 500 by the middle of next summer and then 50 wells a year over the next 4 years or so, by which time, we should have restored all the wells that are in need.

Our only problem is our success, and that well owners from more remote areas will be asking for support too.  But that is not an insurmountable problem.  Improved access to water through desert well restoration has increased the numbers of Bedouin families who come with their goats and camels for grazing, just like they used to do in the old days.  Many of them live in towns along the coast, but once the children have finished school they pack up their tents and animals and move to the high desert plains, around 30 miles out from St Katherine’s.

Even without these extra people, we estimate that we have helped a minimum of 20,000 people have access to water, but we think it is probably a lot more than this.

However, behind all these successes lie stories of real human suffering.  In one small community, an elderly lady used to take a donkey 7 km to the nearest water, fill up her containers and walk back, and do this three times a week, just to provide the absolute minimum water required for drinking and cooking. Restoration of 5 wells in this community has rejuvenated it, with people coming back from the towns to be in their ancestral lands again.  In another community they have two small wells, one of which we restored and the other gives some water but there is nowhere near enough for 30 families. It is over 10 km to the nearest well by pickup, but even there, there are so many people the pressure for water is high.  They need a new well but our policy is not to sponsor unproven wells.  They need help but we don’t know how best to do this.  In another community they have lots of wells but with no rain for over 4 years, the wells are all going dry.

What the Bedouin need most is rain – moderate and often, not excessive and rare.  With good rains the wells would be full and the water table higher, and many wells on our list could be taken off it.


Orphan Herb Growing Project

In October our new students started to learn all about herbs and how to grow them, with their teacher Selim.  When we met them, they had learnt about 30 local herbs from the mountains and valleys nearby; which were useful, medically and for cooking, and which were poisonous (very important to know if you are collecting them).   All the students took a turn in naming and categorising the herbs and they seemed to be enjoying their lessons.  All the children have lost their father, two men were killed in motorcycle accidents, and the others were health related premature deaths.  There are 12 children from 6 families, and they will spend the next 18 months learning all there is to finding, cultivating, cutting, drying and using the herbs, with a view to planting up their own herb gardens and selling herbs to bring in an income to their families in the future.

Spring 2019 News

Wadi Itlah Upper Dam

At the end of March 19, a group from Bristol and the South West came to build a dam just above one built in 2008 called Two Carob Dam.  The dam builders had to deal with the unusual situation of there being too much water in the wadi to begin with and Mahmoud had to set up several hoses to drain the water flowing down the valley.  The water was the result of good heavy rains in February.  Once the dam was finished, the diverting hoses were removed and the plug was filled and the dam filled up straight away.  It became a focus for local children who rarely have the chance to be immersed in water!  We hope this dam will increase the amount of water to the 100 or more gardens down this long valley.

Oda’s Dam Extension and Restoration – April 2018

 A strong team of American theological academics plus two English people from Stroud, led by Dick and assisted by Fabienne, completed the Trust’s 20th dam on 12th April.  The dam was built just above Oda’s dam in Wadi Shaq to supplement two previous dams there.  The wadi has a huge water catchment which caused our first dam to silt up.  This one should increase the water catchment of both dams here. Some of the group arrived in St Katherine’s early so they could attend the Easter Service at the monastery before heading up to the mountains. After three days the dam was complete so the team, this time led by Helen, walked over the beautiful wadi Akhmah pass to Ramadan’s garden for the night.  A flock of camels was then enlisted for the next day, to take most of the party up Mt Sinai, saving them some of the assent but not the  750 steps to the chapel at the top. Everyone made it and we had the summit to ourselves.  The following day we went to visit the monastery in Wadi Tala where St John Climacus reportedly wrote Jacob’s Ladder of Divine Assent.  On their last day the American group went for a bespoke tour of the monastery, including the famous library. One of the students on the trip is studying one of their manuscripts for his Masters thesis. Eid provided cooking services along with other Bedouin and Shaban was chief of hospitality, as well as building. Some of the American participants are hoping to bring another party on a future journey and we look forward to seeing them again.


Makhad Trust registered on eBay

13th July 2012

This week the Makhad Trust was registered with eBay as a charity. This means that if you sell an item on eBay you can chose to donate part of the money to the Makhad Trust and if you are buying an item you can add an extra amount as a donation. You can also make a donation without buying or selling if you have a PayPal account. You can see our eBay for Charity page if you click on this link, this page lists any items that are making a donation to the Makhad Trust from their selling price.

eBay for Charity has a list of over 6600 charities on it’s database and since 2006 it has raised over £36,500,000 for these good causes.