s were often constructed adjacent to mosques and were supported by waqf
s, or charitable endowments. In Cairo, once a year when the River Nile was in flood, the water was transported from the river to the sabil
, and carried in animal skins on the backs of camels or mules. The water was then brought to a stone basin on the ground-floor from which the attendant scooped cupfuls for all those who were thirsty. In some sabil
s the water from the cistern fed a fountain which emptied into a basin.