Ethiopia / Gashena: Ground water project
Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine!!!
Water, unquestionably the source of all life, is one of the key strategic issues of our time. Moreover, it is a naturally endowed common, economic, political and social good. Despite the best efforts of the international development community to improve water resources and access to sanitation facilities worldwide, as of 2002, some 2.6 billion people – half of the developing world – live without improved sanitation. Lack of clean water remains a serious problem – 1.1 billion people are still using water from unimproved sources in sub-Saharan Africa and 42 percent of the population is still not served at all.
The human right to water is defined as “sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses.” Furthermore, universal access to sanitation is “not only fundamental for human dignity and privacy, but is one of the principal mechanisms for protecting the quality of water resources. Access to water must be continuous and the amount of water available must be adequate for human dignity, life and health, and suffices for drinking, cooking, and personal and domestic hygiene.
We are tired of hearing news that human being lost their lives due to diseases caused by contaminated water. This contamination is caused by unsafe disposal of human extracts. Therefore, it is necessary to provide safe water for human use and this obliges any human extracts to be disposed of in the manner which does not pollute safe drinking water.
Described as the water tower of Africa, Ethiopia has abundant water resources, including 12 river basins, and 22 natural and artificial lakes. It is also one of few countries with a constitutional provision to a formal right to water. However, only 39.4% of the population currently has access to safe drinking water, one of the lowest coverage levels worldwide , and also among the lowest in Africa. Moreover, the water supply history is also known by the existence of bias which has kept water supply investment in the rural areas quite low since 1970’s. Thus, large portion of the population lost their life because of water-borne diseases. This is all the more serious in that the rural population has virtually no sanitation facilities, while in the country as a whole only eight percent of the population has access to sanitation.
“We know the worth of water when the well is dry” (Chinese Proverb)
2. WHY WATER PROJECT IN GASHENA?
Gashena is situated in one of the most naturally draught and famine prone zones of the Amhara region with very minimal and inconsistent rainfall. It is also one of the most forgotten areas which is not benefiting from the socio-economic developmental programs of the government. Considering this backlash, PBF has been providing Health service to the community as of the official inauguration of the Gashena Medium Clinic which was built and being operational under the financial and material support of PBF.
Considering the fact that the main diseases affecting and accelerating the death of children, women, elderly and the poorest are water-borne diseases(both Bacterial and virus) as well as transmitted diseases, extraction of clean water from the ground, is found to be the most effective strategy of minimising such mega-health problems in the area.
Accordingly, PBF believes that providing clean water and sanitation has to be one of Emmanuel clinic’s aims to make measureable and sustainable improvement in water supply in the area and serve the community as an integral part of its health mission. With this short and small scale clean water and sanitation program, we can at list serve Emmanuel workers and all Emmanuel clinic visitors – extending the service in the long run to the nearby kebeles and villages of the community.
Generally, the project could minimize Emmanuel clinic’s water expenses. It will also improve access to potable water and sanitation for the community as well as for Emmanuel members, which in turn stop migration of Emmanuel clinic working staff and beneficiaries because of lack of clean water.
Keeping these objectives in mind, therefore, PBF has approved the project by allocating around 10,000 USD financial budget, and the actual work to be supervised under the direct control of the head of PBF Lalibela Office and the director of Gashena Medium Clinic.