Mohammed had been a refugee for several months when the idea dawned on him.
“Water is the most important thing in life. It’s the key to life and and also necessary for good hygiene, and we need both,” he says.
After Mohammed fled violence in Qamishli, Syria more than two years ago he found refuge in Darashakran refugee camp in northern Iraq.
A father of three, and an engineer by profession, he could see the challenges his neighbours in the camp faced with their new living arrangements.
“There were many problems with the plumbing system,” he said. “It wasted a lot of water. I came up with the idea of creating a self maintenance programme where camp residents oversee their own and their neighbours’ plumbing systems. But I didn’t know how to make my vision come true. I didn’t have the resources on hand, so I had to wait.”
When UNICEF’s implementing partner, Relief International, began working in the camp, they looked for a mukhta — the local term for a man who is wise and influential in his community. They found Mohammed.
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