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Home News Latest News I was about to leave my marriage because of water shortages!

         I was about to leave my marriage because of water shortages!

       water shortages (2)

W/ro Mimi Dessie, aged 39, is a married and has three children. She was born and raised in Ijersa Kubete Kebele, Siadeberna Wayu Woreda of North Shoa Zone in Amhara region of Ethiopia. Mimi is now a resident at Mehal Gotet village. Their livelihood is depended on agriculture. However, they have suffered for years because of lack of safe drinking water in the area. It has made their lives difficult more than anything else.

When she was a child starting from the age of 7, she traveled long distances to fetch water from rivers as there was no water scheme in the nearby area. This highly affected her education. As a result, she terminated on the 6th grade. Residents, including Mimi used to fetch water from “Abo” River.

W/ro Mimi Dessie explains, “I've been living with my spouse for the last 25 years. We couldn’t access sufficient and safe water. As the population grows, water problem also worsens. There were days that my children go to school without washing their hands, faces and clothes. I couldn’t cook in time for them to eat due to lack of water. Absence of water also negatively affected our productivity. I never forget the hardships I experience in life. I was about to leave my marriage because of water shortages. Particularly, when I gave birth & stayed on bed, the problem went out from bad to worse. We insisted a shepherd who is employed to help us to fetch water from that difficult gorge. But, he never tolerated me if he saw washing infants’ clothes. If he saw washed clothes outside, then, he automatically felt sad. Water is too expensive to get in our village. One must quarrel and suffer a lot to get a single jerrycan. It’s actually better to do other task than going to the river for him. My husband sometimes fetches to reduce the challenge only when he got enough time. Quarreling to each other had been a common phenomenon to residents of Mehal Gotet. Wrestling and boxing was a day to day activity for villagers. My families are 6 in number. Had I been lucky enough, I got 3 jerrycan daily. Now, thanks to ORDA and Charity Water, we have started to get 6 and 7 jerrycan daily.”

          water shortages (1)

Currently, residents of Gotet have access to clean water. They no longer suffer from water shortages and wait for queues. They are now cooking food for the children and the family in time. They begin practicing their personal hygiene. Their children go to school happily though schools are now shut down due to COVID-19.

Ato Mulugeta Tafesse is chairman of the local “Edir” association and Mehal Gotet Water Scheme. "We have a lot of problems due to the lack of safe drinking water in our area. Many of our people went down to the valley to fetch water. However, about 20 residents & cattle fell down and died. I never forget W/ro Yetemework who fell down in a narrow walkway and died when she tried coming back from “Kitana” river to her home. It was saddening that she died of leaving her infant twins on bed. W/ro Abebech Lemma also died of carrying water jar when she tried coming back from that gorge. 2 years latter, we also mourned about the death of her 26-year-old son when traveling in that valley. In addition, we faced violent confrontation/conflict due to water crisis. Our children could not get married with other kebele residents because of shortage of water." he said.

Since June 2011, water problem has come to an end. The people began to drink water happily praising ORDA and Charity Water. The scheme also saved lives of people and cattle from death. Those who were reluctant to get married with their children have now regretted as residents now accessed safe water. Water committee has so far collected more than 8,000 birr and it’ll be used to repair when the water scheme is being damaged.

 


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