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From disclaiming to asserting …

                                             By Fasil Wolde Michael

Lay Gaynt From disclaiming to asserting w ro ateref 11The Enjera they bake is dark and disgusting, making feel revulsion.  This is not the only effect but also the water they fetch “taints the sauce instantly in the afternoon, the local beer changing into sour taste; this in turn inflates stomach”, as W/ro Ateref Bayew, 54, a resident of Tach Terara Kilekil Mesk special Got in 08 Debre Medhanit Kebele, Lay Gaynit district, depicted.

They need to walk two and more hours round trip for fetching water and going back to home. Above all, “the water isn’t clean, infested with insects; while the spring ceases up providing unsafe water, we wait until lunch time clearing gushing out algae surrounding its outlet and purifying”, W/ro Ateref further elaborated widening  the magnitude and severity of the problem. W/ro Aregitu Kassaw, 50, resident of the locality, added: “at the Christians fasting time, the spring will cease up.” The other resident of the Got, Farmer Kindu Baynesagn, noted the likelihood of the spring water to be unsafe, saying “we used to drink the turbid water on one side and on the other abandoned dogs drink from the same sources in our absence.” As W/ro Ateref stated the ailment for which the water has caused for: “we have always suffered from around our abdomen.”  

In October 2011, each resident of the Got, who are suffered from the ailments, gathered and appealed to 08 Debre Medhanit Kebele, for demanding potable water. What has driven the residents presenting their felt-need at this time? The source of the driving force is project implemented by ORDA and CARE-Ethiopia.  HOW?

The potable water provision problem is not only the problem of the Lay Gayint district but also the problem of Simada and Tach Gayint districts. According to the Project Manager, Yaiqob Belay, water coverage of those three districts was on the average of 45%. Improving their lower water coverage is the objective of the project.

Lay Gaynt From disclaiming to asserting11

ORDA in collaboration with the district’s Water Resource Office and other stakeholders/District line offices/, sufficient awareness creation on the project’s objective, implementation strategies and contribution of the beneficiary communities has been created in  30 kebeles of the three project districts, as the Project’s Social Worker, highlighted. He also added that these kebeles accordingly in collaboration with the project the community who has been inspired to solving the problem initiated the potable water provision project on behalf of the community.

The residents of the Tach Terara Kilkel Mesk Special Got, who had a dire need for potable water, did not retreat to respond instantly in pursuing their burning issues. Farmer Kindu has been working hard in inspiring the Got’s residents: “as I got them up, all people gathered and as a result reached at consensus after we had much discussion; while electing members of water committee immediately, they voted me as chairperson to let me pursue our effort and implement it; other committee’s position including secretary, inspection, store-keeper and water and sanitation focal persons have also been nominated and elected; then each household contributed 13 Birr; the store-keeper and I have deposited the collected money in the Amhara Credit and Saving Institution.”  

As farmer Kindu further clarified, after the members of the committee submitted an application for the district Water Resource Office, its experts mapped out the location where the potable water scheme is to be constructed. The water supply and hygiene and sanitation members were trained through the support of the project.  Thereafter, physically addressing in the Water Resource Office, the “committee entered into not only contract digging a well and hand on it in May 25th, 2012,” but also contributing local selected materials such as stone, sand and stems of trees, and being involving in the construction process of the hand dug well, he added.

Lay Gaynt From disclaiming to asserting w ro aregitu 11The residents of the Got toiled physically and contribute their shares maintaining what they pledged. As the result, “women and men carried trunks or stems pleasantly,” as W/ro Aregitu underscored. The beneficiaries collaborated dedicatedly and completed six meter deep well in four days in which construction of the cylinder is undertaken.   

Moreover, availing sand which is required for starting up the construction of the hand dug well has become the duty of the beneficiaries. Kayilo river, which is the main source of sand, available is extremely far away from Tach Terara Kilkel Mesk Got.  Farmer Kindu portrayed how this tests not only their capacity but also their willpower of those 30 households who are responsible to deliver 19 buckets. Farmer Kindu expounded the situation that: “we  start our journey at dawn to bring the sand and come back around seven and eight local time(passed lunch time); it takes nine solid hours round trip; I transported the sand with a horse within three days.” He continued and said “folks who have carried the sand on shoulder are many; and those who haven’t discharged are fined with 60 Birr and 40 Birr as per their failure of contributions.

One of the beneficiaries of the water scheme, W/ro Aregitu described the potable water as “clear blue sky; naturally crystal clear” and went on saying “God bless for those who have offered this potable water; the people enjoy it with joy.” W/ro Ateref stated that the beneficiaries have contributed two Birr on monthly basis since September 2012. Farmer Kindu unveiled that they have thus deposited 470 Birr in ACSI.

Apart from this, a situation have been created  in which two members of the committee have been provided with training on maintenance service to the water schemes have been given. Farmer Kindu further uttered about two guards hired by the beneficiaries for the schemes “we pay three quintals of barely per a year.” He added further that “anyone who disturbs a queue at the scheme” is fined 20 Birr as per their bylaws.

The other activity that has been implemented by the project integrating with potable water supply is hygiene and sanitation promotion. W/ro Ateref, who is Water and Sanitation representative in the water scheme, reported the effort in progress: “I have been providing education to the community about health, latrine management and energy saving stoves on the 12th day of every month.”

As Shibabw spelt out, it has been proved the activity implemented by the project has empowered the beneficiaries and made them self reliant in managing the water points and their personal and environmental hygiene enabled the beneficiaries to be empowered or self-reliant. He further corroborated as saying “previously, they used to say that come and inaugurate the water scheme you constructed; currently they say come and inaugurate our project.” Practicing need-based and/or demand driven approach is the rationale behind the project implementation to bring about such basic behavioral changes. As a result, Yaeqob underlined, the cost shared by the beneficiaries at an average of 28% for Hand dug Wells and 30% for the Springs have been indicators for successful implementation and genuine participation.

The Tach Terara Kilkel Mesk Specail Got Potable Water Scheme isn’t the only one that the project was constructing and functional in 2012. Yaeqob reported that it constructed 22 Hand Dug Wells, 37 Springs and 19 Rope Pumps, and maintained 28 Hand Dug Wells and in that about 17991 people have now been enjoying from its fruits.

Apart from this, as the information obtained from the project’s office revealed, it has registered more outputs including seven Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines and 21 Improved Pit Latrines at the social institutions, and 82 Traditional Pit Latrines at the houses of behaviorally changed farmers. The project has also built the capacities of 97 religious leaders and 236 committee members of 59 water schemes. Finally, it is important to note that the success of this project should be scaled up onto other projects of the organization. 

Last Updated (Friday, 28 June 2013 11:56)


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