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 Let’s save millions who suffer from inaccessibility of water, hygiene & sanitation!

By:-Esubalew Dires

Can we really think of existence of life without water? No, absolutely not. People often say “water is life!” This is to mean that people, flora & fauna species/lives/ are not able to survive without water. Accessing to safe water is a human right; however, the problem is still a serious threat in the globe in general and Ethiopia in particular. Though there is no vivid figure, Amhara Region is among the lowest in water supply, hygiene & sanitation services in Ethiopia. According to WaterAid:

  • Four in ten people don't have clean water. That's almost 60.5 million people.
  • Over 92 million people don't have a decent toilet. Just one in ten people do.
  • Over 8,500 children under 5 die each year from diarrhoea. Caused by dirty water and poor toilets. 

To contribute its share, ORDA has been implementing John’s Rig WASH Project funded by Welthungerhilfe & Viva con Agua to supply water, hygiene and sanitation activities in five districts of East Gojjam Zone of Amhara Region, namely- Sinan, Gozamen, Debre Elias, Machakel and Aneded. Those districts are selected based on their low water supply, sanitation coverage, and their good potential of underground water.

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The project has a total of € 8.8 million (over 200 Million Birr) benefiting 205 thousand people in water supply & 280 thousand people in hygiene & sanitation in 56 kebeles.

Although the target districts have good surface and ground water potentials, the communities were not able to get the necessary social and economic benefits out of it. Consequently, 55.62 % of the population (according to the baseline survey) are using water from unprotected sources, such as rivers, streams, ponds and springs that are being shared by humans with livestock and wild beasts.

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Since May 2016, the project has developed deep and shallow wells, ventilated improved pit latrine (VIPL), large spring development (LSPD) and sanitation facilities which has a great impact on improving the lives of the rural people.

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Amare Yewebesh large spring scheme is the one which was constructed at a total cost of 2.8 million birr (community contributed 196,217 birr.). Water is accumulated in booster collecting chambers & pumped out to the main reservoir (having a capacity of 75 thousand liters) with a generator, and finally distributed in gravity to the community, schools & health posts for Amare Yewebesh villagers. It serves close to 2 thousand people for Amare Yewebesh/Embuli/ rural town & its surrounding in Machakel woreda since 2018.

W/ro Abebu Simachew, aged 40, is a resident at Amare Yewebesh/Embuli/ rural town. She is a mother of two boys. W/ro Abebu is dependent on distilling Ethiopian local alcohol “Arekie” & livestock rearing. For longer years, she couldn’t get access to safe water. She used to fetch water travelling long distance from unprotected river called “Degay Agur.” Her sons also went to the river for fetching water, and they often arrived late to school.

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W/ro Abebu requires much water for her job. She said, “I need much water daily to distill ‘Arekie’ & cattles’ & personal consumption. For this reason, I used to waste much time (sometimes, we waited for 2 days) & labor waiting for my turn in getting water. We were sick because of the unsafe water. After ORDA & donors handed over Amare Yewebesh large spring scheme, the community started to use safe water more than enough. Our children are attending their classrooms properly. We are grateful to ORDA & donors for supplying safe & adequate water for our families.”

W/ro Abebu has built a neat latrine, fuel saving stove and liquid waste disposal. Access to safe water helped her improve her living better than before.

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Yebokla, a rural town in Gozamin woreda, is 42 kilometers distant from Debre Markos. This rural town has a population of about 10 thousand people. The community in the area suffered a lot due to unsafe & inadequate water. They got water from a river called “Elet” traveling long distance. It was a worsening situation to women and girls that they often used to walk more than an hour to fetch water.

The problem initiated ORDA to develop a large spring at Gedemala (top of Yebokla) & built a reservoir which has a capacity of 100 thousand liters. Eventually, the community of Yebokla & its surrounding freed from water shortage. Yebokla large spring development is different from other water schemes that it’s pumped out & distributed to the community using natural gravity.

W/ro Yirgu Yetemegn is a married and has 9 children (3 boys & 6 girls). She lives in Yebokla kebele. For many years, her family used to drink river water. She exclaimed, “Water is a series trouble for the community and made our life complicated. We sent our children to fetch water & they waited a turn much time until they fill in their jerrican & pots. This has a negative influence on students’ result. Now, we are pleased for having a door-to-door safe & adequate water service.”

Residents in "Mehal Yezalit"- a few kilometers far from Yebokla also got potable water. They happily praised God saying they are now rebirthed for having clean water which cures them from waterborne diseases. They thanked ORDA & funding donors very much.

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 13 March 2019 05:55)

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