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Clean and safe water, changing lives

Ethiopia-story-8.jpgW/ro Tolesh is one of the residents of Bedesa village of Abo Yayebena Kebele in Jarso Woreda. She lives with her husband and six children. Her husband is the village leader and one of the water committee members who facilitated the construction of the spring development scheme. The family’s livelihood depends on rain-fed agriculture producing food crops such as teff (a local food grain used to make traditional Ethiopian injera flat bread), wheat, sorghum, and chickpeas.

Prior to the development of the spring, Tolesh and her family were facing ongoing challenges as a result of the scarcity and safety of potable water. The water point that Tolesh was accessing was unsafe and many people in the community were suffering from waterborne diseases such as diarreheoa. According to Tolesh, “Getting access to water always involved facing a very long queue and competing with livestock for unsafe water. Despite having a heavy work load at home sometimes I would have to wait for hours to access dirty, unsafe water.”

In an attempt to address these challenges, CPAR developed a spring in the center of the village with spring reservoir capacity of 45 m3 water which can serve 191 households. The developed spring can also provide irrigation to 150 households (out of the 191) which are located downstream.

During the construction, water users like W/ro Tolesh and other community members, contributed locally available materials such as construction stone, and eucalyptus purelings in addition to their labour and time.

The completion of the spring sparked a celebration amongst local community members who were grateful to have access to clean water for their families as well as an irrigation source to help produce local crops.