WaterAid launches Zakat campaign to help transform lives with clean water

Posted by
Ekene Oboko
13 April 2021
WaterAid/ DRIK/ Habibul Haque

This Ramadan, WaterAid is inviting the Muslim community to support the charity’s Zakat appeal to help bring clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene to communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mali.  

One of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat is an obligatory form of charity, every adult Muslim whose savings exceed a set minimum is required to donate 2.5% of accumulated savings to good causes that fall into specific categories. The international charity has collaborated with Islamic faith experts to develop a new Zakat policy and run projects that meet the principles of Zakat. For the first time, supporters can choose which country to support, with 100% of donations going directly to vulnerable communities. With clean water, children can stay healthy and in school, and their parents can earn a living, enabling whole families to flourish.  

In Bangladesh, where 1 in 5 schools have no clean water and many more lack decent toilets and handwashing facilities, donations will help to build and renovate accessible water and toilet facilities in two Madrassa schools. Just £10 can buy five water taps and £150 will pay for the cost of a tube well. The project will benefit 500 pupils, helping improve their health, attendance and performance, as well as providing a model to be replicated by other schools.  

In the Muzaffargarh district in Pakistan, the Zakat campaign will help communities affected by climate change. The global climate emergency is making it even harder for vulnerable people to get clean water. Droughts dry up water sources, while more frequent and extreme flooding pollutes fragile water sources and cause toilets to overflow, which can lead to the spread of diseases such as cholera. Pakistan is in the top quintile for vulnerability to climate change. WaterAid will provide climate-resilient water and sanitation services in communities, health care centres and schools, which will keep functioning whatever the future holds. A donation of £100 will help buy a water tank.    

Zakat donations will also help communities in Mali, one of the poorest and hottest countries in the world, where more than 11 million people do not have decent toilets – that’s around 60% of the population - and more than 4 million people have no clean water. WaterAid’s project in the districts of Bla and Kati will provide life-changing water pumps in communities, handwashing facilities in health centres, and toilet blocks in schools. A donation of £60 will help buy a clean water tank and £500 will help install handwashing stations. 

WaterAid’s philanthropy team can support those considering a larger donation of £10,000 or more while still meeting Zakat requirements. 

Marcus Missen, Director of Communications & Fundraising at WaterAid, said: 

“We’re delighted to launch our Zakat appeal this Ramadan, enabling the Muslim community to help transform lives around the world with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene through projects that meet Zakat requirements. Gaining access to these basic human rights can provide the first step out of poverty, improving health, education and livelihoods for whole communities, and helping build resilience against our changing climate. We are so grateful for all the support we receive as we work towards a world where everyone everywhere has clean water and decent sanitation.”  

For more information about WaterAid’s Zakat policy and projects, visit: https://www.wateraid.org/uk/donate/zakat  


For more information, please contact: 

Ekene Oboko, Senior Media Officer, [email protected]
Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors: 

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid

  • 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1] 
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]  
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes. 
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[3] 
  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[4]  


[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines 

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines 

[3] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage 

[4] www.wateraid.org