Swiss Church Aid ensures access to clean drinking water in Ethiopia’s community

Through ACT appeal’s response to the prolonged drought in Horn of Africa , ACT member Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER)  implemented an emergency drought response project in the Hudet Woreda region of Ethiopia. The rehabilitation of a traditional well, improved access to safe water for the communities in the region. The well was non-functional for the last five years, due to technical problems with the generator. This had created enormous challenges for the people living in that area. HEKS/EPER  upgraded the system to a solar-powered submersible pump, installing six solar panels and repairing 50 meters of pipelines to improve water distribution. Now the well is benefiting more than 5,000 people.

Halima Mohamed , a mother of five  living in Hudet Woreda, who earns a small income notes that access to clean water was very challenging for  her family during the drought.

“We used to collect water as far as 5 km away from traditional wells but also ponds for our daily consumption. It was not safe,  but it became a matter of survival”  Says Halima.  She would send her daughters to collect water so that she could take care of the house and her newborn. This meant that her daughters could not attend school on a regular basis.

“I was worried about their future, that they will end up like me, staying home with no income and dependent on others“ she adds.  The lack of access to clean drinking water affected the health of her children, as they were continuously ill.

Halima’s family is one of the households that benefit from HEKS/EPER’s project. She is now able to easily fetch water in her neighbourhood. ‘Now I can keep my children healthy and we can drink clean water. I don’t need to keep my girls at home to support me with the house works. They started going to school, which gave me so much relief, now am seeing a bright future for me and my children.”

The story and many other humanitarian feature stories  from ACT Ethiopia forum here: AEF-Periodical E-booklet_2nd Issue