In villages across Ethiopia, females are responsible for daily chores, including gathering water for their families. This task often requires a long, sometimes dangerous journey—with buckets and cans in hand or on head—and may mean sacrificing other important things, such as an education. Time gathering water means time lost for studying and keeping up with school—a reality that severely limits opportunities for girls to learn and cultivate a better future.
This used to be the case in Korido, as women and young girls had to worry each day about collecting water. Martha is grateful this isn’t the case for her and others in her village since Samaritan’s Purse restored a water pump this year that had not functioned in almost 15 years. We also provided training to keep the pump from breaking again.
“Now that I don’t have to walk far to fetch water, I now have more time for reading and learning,” Martha said. She’s in the sixth grade in a country where fewer than 30 percent of females know how to read.
The rehabilitated water pump has helped families get healthier by keeping children away from dirty drinking water. Waterborne illness is a leading cause of life-threatening diseases among children under age five in Ethiopia, but that problem can be dramatically improved when a nearby source of clean water is available.
Korido is a village of 75 hardworking families in Ethiopia’s vast, mountainous Hadiya Zone where for generations most families have eked out a livelihood farming corn, coffee, sugarcane, teff, and wheat. The new water source has also strengthened the local economy. Instead of 30,000 people all competing for the same distant source of water, the restored pump has allowed both households and farmers to more easily access this precious resource.
“We had to walk for an hour. Now we only have to walk five minutes,” said Aedeich Wolde, a wife and mother of four children who rejoiced when our WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) teams came to Korido.
The work of Samaritan’s Purse in Ethiopia goes back decades when we built some of our first wells during severe drought and famine in the region. The need for reliable sources of clean water remains, and we are providing for these immediate needs, wherever we find them, in Jesus’ Name.
Mesfin Gizaw, WASH Program Manager, says that these projects in the Hadiya Zone are laying the foundation for further work in the region, which includes the construction and restoration of more water pumps, wells, and latrines for communities and schools.
“The impact has been significant,” Gizaw said, even as the little kids of Korido, with big smiles on their faces, ran to the pump with their jerry cans and filled them with clean, fresh water.
Save the life of a child or adult in a developing country by providing safe water along with health and hygiene education that will help protect them from deadly, but preventable, diseases. Simple and effective water filters, community wells and water storage solutions, and sanitation facilities can all drastically improve lives and open doors to share the eternal hope of Jesus Christ.