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Environment: Aid Which Builds, Not Destroys

A family from our Cereal Aid project in Niamey, Niger gather to witness the fruits of their first green harvest in years

We have long been prioritising environmental sustainability in all our projects. Many of the people in the developing world suffer the consequences of our irresponsible and indulgent lifestyle choices.

As we take collective responsibility for living greener, we - as a charity - also realise giving aid includes maintaining our responsibility towards local communities.

This can take many forms. Rather than flooding markets with foreign produce, we purchase food, clothes and other necessities locally. This means there are less air miles, which reduces the carbon footprint but also boosts business for local traders.

Rather than clearing tracts of land for farming, we encourage the planting of orchards to bind the soil and provide people with a natural, long-term income source. Instead of using oil guzzling generators to produce electricity on new builds, such as schools, we use solar energy to reduce CO2 emissions, particularly in rural areas.

Read how we're empowering communities and helping to sustain the environment in Mali here: Cereal Aid for Balla.

The impact on communities

Lighting up the streets of Niger

street-lighting

In rural Niger where electricity supplies are intermittent, Muslim Hands has recently provided street lights in the village of Bangouroual which rely on batteries charged by solar energy.

Apart from using a renewable energy source, it also has the advantage of costing very little for its upkeep.

Energy efficient architecture in North Pakistan

pakistan-school

Our priority of high quality construction, such as earthquake proof schools in Northern Pakistan, is now moving in the direction of energy efficiency.

All of our new schools that have been built in Pakistan and Sudan have added insulation to reduce heat loss in the winter and to make air conditioning more effective where it is used.

In upcoming school building projects in Sudan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, energy saving schemes are considered at every stage. This ranges from architectural designs that maximise natural light to installing solar panels on rooftops.

In pictures

Environment projects around the world take on many different forms depending on the needs of the communities they serve.

Here is a brief snapshot of how we are working towards upholding our commitment to a greener world.