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Home News Latest News “Pillar of the poor, long live ORDA”

“Pillar of the poor, long live ORDA”

By Esubalew Dires


Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) is a pioneer developmental partner of ANRS. The Organization also fruitfully achieved multi-developmental interventions in the region. For more than three decades, ORDA made significant livelihood changes of the society.

ORDA, with its major thematic areas of natural resource, water resource, food security and agricultural and gender & youth development programs, has been carrying out astonishing developmental actions. Water is the basic source of development. Hence, ORDA is underway in constructing small scale irrigation schemes in different corners of the region. Farmers have been getting benefited from irrigation schemes.

Though the government has given much emphasis for the sector of health, the country as well as the region has yet a very low coverage of the supply of drinking water. Amhara region is the one that has the least coverage of safe and clean drinking water. For this reason, ORDA, with funding organizations, have been constructing hand dug wells, spring development and shallow wells in districts of Simada, Estie, Gayint, Dangila and Banja where the problem is quite rigorous. The livelihood of the population in the region is progressively improved because of the provision of safe and clean water.


W/ro Yeshalem Seyoum is a resident of Awi zone administration Banja district, Gagasta kebele, `Baita village. Gagasta kebele is located to the North Western   before arriving to Sekela town direction some 57 kms far away from Injibara-Tilili-Seke road.        


The woman together with her husband has got 9 children. Two of them are employed in governmental organizations and three of them established a family while four of her children are attending their education.  W/ro Yeshalem was talking about the life they used to live in contrast with the current and felt sorrow sooner. I asked her to narrate me why did she feel so. You would be amazed with the story the woman told. For many years, they used to drink unsafe water fetching from rivers during the rainy summer season and they used ponds during winter. They were continuously ill with water born diseases. She told me there is a river called “Kasech” which the villagers thought it’s by far cleaner. However, it’s the same river that people used for hygiene and sanitation and animals also got a drink at it. Women and children were the central victims. Apart from wasting the time and energy, during the time of February to April, hookworm was reproduced in the river and a complicated health problem had been provoked. W/ro Yeshalem exclaimed this story has come to an end because of ORDA. She politely thanks ORDA many times.

In Lay Baita village, 90 male & 90 female that a total of 180 have started to make use of clean and safe water. According to W/ro Yeshalem, ORDA in collaboration with A Glimmer of Hope made their life bright and there is no wastage of time, energy and money for medical treatment. Now people are aware of keeping hygiene and sanitation actions.

Banja district had less than half a percent coverage of clean water but now it’s improved to 63% after ORDA Banja WASH project is implemented since 2011. The construction of 83 hand dug wells and 14 spring developments in 10 kebeles benefited a total of 21,009 households (of which 10, 625 men and 10, 384 women) where the problem was devastating. We have also observed livelihood improvements of Gagasta kebele residents.

The kebele’s infrastructure developments such as water, health stations, development agents of agriculture, electricity signifies their life betterment.  The recently constructed new road which bisects the village connects Addis Kidame to Sekela. The accessibility of road transport helps pregnant women to bear their children at health institutions. The provision of ambulances saves the lives of many women and children in the village according to w/ro Yeshalem. People in the village always got involved in the construction of water wells.

ORDA, in its development interventions, establishes mass mobilization in order to create ownership among the beneficiaries. Villagers willingly set up water committee which collects money from users monthly. The money will be used to safeguard, maintain and buy necessary materials when needed. 


Farmer Genet Tibebu, a resident at Quachquach Kebele, is a chair person of Quachquach water well. He claimed apart from cleaning of the well, they offer credit money to members with low interest.

Generally speaking, ORDA calls for donors and development partners to take in hand for the supply of clean and safe water to people of the region.


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