Water comes from the tap? Unfortunately not in Ethiopia

by Susanne Merkel/ RBU,  2009/12/07

We use water for washing, cooking and cleaning. Bottled water for drinking can be bought in every supermarket, rivers and lakes are no rarity in the European countryside. Therefore, in Germany, we are not (yet) used to having to treat water as a scarce resource. The populations of other countries, however, have to tackle difficulties that, luckily, are alien to us.

In Ethiopia, especially the rural population suffers from a severe lack of water, which carries many dangers for children. Due to water shortage, good hygiene is impossible, which leads to diseases and debilitates people who are already weakened due to other ailments even more.

With hand operated water pumps the local people can gain access to groundwater. Photo: humedica

The water shortage problem could easily be reduced by installing simple hand pumps. People pump groundwater from up to 20metres below the ground to the surface. In order to make this possible, well-shafts have to be dug and pumps installed.

Thanks to the support of Dr. Günter Thomas from Baden-Baden it has already been possible to start and in part even complete the construction of such wells in eight villages. Altogether, the existing financial resources will suffice for the construction of 12 wells, thanks to the doctor, who has already participated in several voluntary relief missions with humedica, among them one in Ethiopia in 2008.

Dr. Thomas recognized the dramatic situation and initiated the well project the realization of which was possible thanks to a generous donation by Rotary Clubs in Baden-Baden and meanwhile, is also being supported by humedica.

humedica-coordinator and project leader Dietmar Köthnig lives in Ethiopia and carries out the construction of wells in cooperation with local church communities and people. First, a check has to be made to find out if water is available at an accessible depth and if the quality of the ground allows for the digging of a well.

humedica-coordinator und project leader Dietmar Köthnig runs the well project in cooperation with local people. Photo: humedica

If this is the case, the construction is done in team work: the inhabitants of the villages first dig the holes and afterwards, Dietmar Köthnig installs the wells, together with local helpers, who, at the same time learn how to attend the wells.

The well project is mainly carried out in villages of the region of Sidamo near Awasa, where humedica has already delivered medical aid and held hygiene training courses for selected inhabitants of the villages.

Unfortunately, too many regions still suffer from a serious shortage of water. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the construction of more wells. One such construction costs about 1.500 Euro altogether, each well benefitting between 500 and 1000 people.

Dear friends and donors, more wells are needed and humedica is very grateful for each donation – not matter if it is made online or by means of a bank transfer to the account indicated below: :
      humedica e. V.
      Reference "Ethiopia"
      Account 47 47
      Bank code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Water means hygiene. Water means health. Water means life!

Water means life! Photo: humedica

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