The small villages on the outskirts of Mumbai, some 80-90 Kilometers away have come to be defined by one common characteristic – an acute shortage of clean drinking water. As groundwater levels continue to recede year after year, fresh drinking water has become an increasingly elusive commodity for the residents of these villages.

According to a recent report by Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency, groundwater levels in almost 14,000 villages in Maharashtra have fallen below the five-year average. The GSDA has also estimated that around 11,487 villages in 167 talukas are struggling to gain access to water.

Taking these factors into consideration, Project Rise representatives donated two hand pumps to the water scarce villages of Wagachiwadi and Dodhani which are around 20 kilometres away from Panvel in Maharashtra.

The act of providing water to those in need is greatly emphasised by Islam. Prophetic traditions urge Muslims to conserve natural resources especially water, while striving to aid those who do not have access to it. In keeping with these traditions the Bohra community under the Project Rise banner, endeavours to raise and uplift marginalised sections of society by creating awareness and providing access to clean water, sanitation, proper nutrition and medical care. The inauguration of the hand pumps coincided with this year’s World Water Day theme ‘leave no one behind.’

Project Rise undertook this exercise with the support of Rotary Club of Bombay, Midtown and EmpowHer India Foundation who collectively engaged with local communities to install these pumps, which will provide clean drinking water to over 3500 locals living and working in the area.