Clean water was one of the tough challenges of Kotu villagers in Ethiopia, some 110km north of Ethiopia. People were forced to drink water from rivers and springs. These water sources were causing quit a huge health complication on the community, especially children and taking the productive time of the people.
Etenesh Zewdie, 45, married and with nine children lives at Kotu Village. Etenesh and the rest community were suffering from a shortage of clean water for a long period of time until World Vision came to rescue them. She says, “We used to fetch water from a spring for decades and were exposed to various water borne diseases. We used to waste much of our productive time to fetching water.”
The water source for Kotu community of was one and half hours walk. In the drier season, the spring volume significantly decreases creating severe water shortage. From March to May, the volume of the spring considerably decreases. “Some of us had to scoop the water from underground. Some of us had to wait the spring water in a queue. In any way, one had to wait for three to four hours to get a jerry can of water. We used to waste about half of our day time fetching and walking back to home,” She sadly recalls.
The majority of the community had no pack animals for transporting the water from the spring to their home. They had to carry the water on the back of their shoulders. “I had six children. My wife had to visit the spring most often twice a day to satisfy our large family water need. She had to carry the water on her back as we had no donkey. It was really affecting her health and her daily duty,” sadly recalls Assefa Mandefro
Some of the villagers used to visit the spring after midnight so as to avoid the long queue at day time. Sintayehu Girmaye, 40, was one of the community members that used to fetch after midnight. Recalling the then situation she says, “I along with my neighbors used to wake up at 3: AM at night and walk to the spring to fetch water to avoid the long queue. One the way to the spring, we used to encounter hyenas and they were threating us. We used to tremble when we see them and hear their odd voice. ”
Taking shower and washing hand properly was unthinkable for the residents of Kotu villagers. Aster Tsegaye says, “There was time when we had to ignore washing our hand before and after eating food. We see bathing as a leisure. We used to take bath once in a while by walking to the river. Our children had to suffer from dysentery, diarrhea, and vomiting. We used to incur a lot of money to medicate them”
In response to the community potable water challenges, World Vision financed by Rehoboth WASH drilled water sources at the center of their village and constructed water points across the village. Now the community is enjoying clean water.
Etenesh Zewdie is now the happiest person in accessing clean water. The water point is built just at the gate of her house. She says, “It is like I was born again. I have never dreamed of accessing clean water at the gate of my house. It takes me two to three minutes to fetch the clean water. I and my children are now enjoying clean drinking water, taking bath anytime we wanted. Thank you, World Vision for this great work.”
Aster has the following to say, “After this water source is in place, our children have become healthy and strong. We are using the time that we used to waste for fetching water to taking care of our children and other useful productive activities. Thank you, World Vision your unmeasurable support.”
Story by: Aklilu Kassaye