June 2018: Ethiopia / Kualit: Community project: Drinking water and hygiene

Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in Kualit, Ethiopia

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s poorest and least developed region, with half its population living on less than a dollar a day. About two-thirds of its countries rank among the lowest in the Human Development Index. Even when opportunities exist to address outstanding water issues, deep and widespread poverty across the African region constrains the ability of many cities and communities to provide proper water and sanitation services, sufficient water for economic activities and to prevent water quality from deteriorating.

Like many African countries, Ethiopia faces water shortages, poor sanitation, and a lack of access to clean water sources. Perennial drought and politics are two leading causes of water shortage. Studies show that only 42% of the population has access to a clean water supply and just 11% of that number has access to adequate sanitation services. These figures drop even lower in the rural areas resulting in health problems for human as well as livestock.

In the past twenty years, droughts have affected several areas of the country, leading to ponds, wells, streams and lakes drying up or becoming extremely shallow and polluted. The result is lack of clean water for domestic use and watering of livestock. Water borne illnesses, such as cholera or diarrhea, are the leading causes of death in children under five years.In addition to illness, many Ethiopian children, especially girls, face problems with school attendance leading to eventual school drop-out. In rural Ethiopia, women and children walk more than three hours to collect water, often from shallow wells or unprotected ponds they share with animals.

Ethiopia is a nation full of beauty and culture. However it is being severely affected by water shortages. Fields are drying up and farmers are fighting over irrigation resources. Also, children in villages are losing out on education and instead are spending their days collecting water for their families.

OBJECTIVE and Description of the Project
The main objective is Manual construction (protection) of springs and Wells to improve access to water and hygiene services, thus also improving the health of the communities and saving the women and girls’ time and effort that could otherwise be spent on educational, social participation and development activities. It is also necessary to ensure the sustainability of the improvements through the establishment of focus groups (made up of members of the water committees, technical corps, local government officials and local partner employees).

LOCATION of Project- KUALIT, Lalibela
Kualit is a small village located in Amhara Region, North Wollo Zone, Lasta Woreda (about 35 kilometers from Lalibela) having a population of 5,000 people.

  • This area is the most lacking in terms of availability of drinking water, with far less access than the national average.
  • The main economic activity in the area is the production of crops and raising of livestock.
  • The majority of the community uses unprotected sources and rivers to obtain water for domestic use.
  • The sources are shared by animals and humans alike, with the resulting health risk.
  • Furthermore, the average amount of time spent looking for water from unprotected sources varies between 30 minutes and three hours per journey, and average water consumption in the majority of kebele (village) is some five liters per person per day, which amounts to 25% of the minimum recommended amount.
  • Due to this situation, number of people falls ill and dies every year as a result of drinking contaminated water, and little food is produced since the harvests are entirely dependent on rainfall and livestock die from diseases related to poor water quality.
  • This situation is also the cause of a serious social problem, particularly in rural areas, as women and girls have to travel huge distances to fetch water; consequently, they have no time to go to school or participate in community life.

The Project will directly benefit 12’000 people (5200 men and 6800 women) living in the area, improving access to clean water and sanitation.

The other direct beneficiaries are 500 students in a primary school in that village; the school will get a direct water access in the compound.

In addition, many more people will be benefited to get water for their cattle, reducing their time and the longer distance they travel searching for water.

Financial Demand

  • Construction of a small reservoir at the source of the spring so that the source will be protected clean: 40,000ETB
  • Installation of 200 pipes from the source to the middle of the village; 50,000ETB
  • Construction of a reservoir in the middle of the village so that people can access the water very close to them; 150,000ETB
  • Construction of a platform so that the cattle will also drink water from; 20,000ETB
  • Simple fencing work to protect the reservoir and the utilities; 15,000ETB

A total of 275’000 ETB / 9’426 CHF is required to implement this community project.

Mesay Mequanent, Civil Eng.
Trustee PBF Nov 2017

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