The Makhad Trust provides practical projects which promote sustainable living and support nomadic people. The greatest need of all Bedouin people is for water. “Water is Life” they say, and they know this better than most people living on Earth today. Although Sinai has always been a desert, it has not always been so dry. Climate change has altered the rainfall patterns and development on the coast, particularly at Sharm El Sheikh, has increased the demand for water. The result of these factors is that wells have gone dry as the water table has dropped, while other wells have been filled in by a massive rains that may only come every other year. Some communities have not seen any significant rain for 4 years.
Our main focus is on the provision of water through restoration of wells. However we have also been supporting the Bedouin community in a number of ways, including with the provision of a library specifically for women and children, running a beekeeping training course for 4 years, teaching bereaved children to grow herbs, provision of a carpentry school to teach teenagers a life/work skill.
All projects are designed to protect the natural environment and its custodians, the Bedouin people. The results or our projects are that communities are given hope and purpose and the economy of garden agriculture is revitalised.
From these projects smaller community projects have arisen. These are carefully designed to be broadly educational while importantly protecting the heritage of the people.
The primary aim of our Sinai projects is to support the Bedouin in their traditional way of life. This is done in four ways: by providing access to local water supplies in wells, by enabling sustainable economic development, by supporting the traditional culture and by developing educational resources.
Access to water is being carried out one well at a time, through restoration by digging out the well. The well owners cannot afford to finance the work themselves so we provide the finance and they organise the well diggers, materials and transport. One well can provide water for between 10 and 20 families, and also for their goats and camels.
Economic development is encouraged and assisted through garden restoration. We help bring individual gardens into production by repairing wells, building dams and developing pumps for cleaner energy. Provision of water allows Bedouin to keep goats which they can sell. We also help them develop their traditions of hospitality towards visitors, which provides an income from tourism. For this we have helped build garden compost toilets.
Support for the traditional culture currently includes the development of a Bedouin museum. The educational projects include the provision of a carpentry school to teach young men a skill for life that will enable them to provide for their families in future. Previous projects have included training garden owners to be beekeepers to increase their income and provision of a building and support for Bedouin women to make and sell Bedouin bags to bring in an income.
The well restoration project has been making good progress since its inception in 2007. The Trust has helped to the restoration of over 400 orchard garden and community drinking wells. A garden well generally helps a single family of 8 to 10 people while a community drinking well provides good water for communities of around 150 people. This means that an astounding number of around 30,000 people now have access to good water, plus their goats and camels.
Wells total as at 1 December 2021
Total number of restored wells is 520!!
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There are still 430 in total, waiting for our help. The Makhad Trust would like to thank all of its funders and supporters without whom none of the projects would have happened. Many of our funders and supporters would like to remain anonymous but we like to acknowledge two of our funders who have supported the Beekeeping Training Project.
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