Life without a water tap – every drop counts

by Steven Hofmann, Martina Zelt, 2014/03/10

Water is part of our life and it is a blessing. Water for the coffee or tea at breakfast, for the cooking, for the shower, for washing our hands or laundry, for watering plants, for the flush or against the thirst. For mankind, water is one of the most precious goods there are and it is the decisive factor which guarantees our health and nutrition.

However, about 884 million people haven’t got any access to clean water. If you tell them about water taps inside the house, from which clean drinking water flows without any limitation, this must sound like paradise for them.

Thanks to the generous support of Bild Hilft e.V., a water project in Ethiopia has been completed now, which has enabled thousands of people to have an access to clear water. This means an enormous relief which the people there can hardly believe. Steven Hofmann, humedica staff on-site, tells us about the consequences of the water project in a rural part of Ethiopia:

“Meanwhile, I have become too old to carry 20 liters of water on my back over long distances”, an elderly woman tells me, who has covered exhausting journeys for decades, to be able to supply her family with water. “Thanks to humedica, I don’t need to worry about this anymore”, says the Ethiopian woman with a grateful smile.

After the time-consuming preparations, the building works for the humedica water project near the town Jijiga could be terminated, which has made the inhabitants very glad. A project, which has changed the people’s lives.

Jijiga is a town of about 200,000 inhabitants in the poorly developed East of Ethiopia and, at the same time, administrative center of the Somali region. In and around Jijiga, humedica has built a total of three new water sources.

In the town itself, two public cisterns were installed, where the surrounding inhabitants can simply fetch water for free.

In a borough in the outskirts of the town, a so-called Berkad was built. A Berkad is a water reservoir in form of an excavation.

During the short and intensive wet period, up to 600 cubic meters rain water are being stored there. The collected water can then be used for the people and the cattle during the dry period.

The elderly woman mentioned before lives near the Berkad. Before this water reservoir had been built, she and other women in this area had to go on foot for about two hours, in order to ladle this precious commodity.

With the Ethiopian heat, already the forward run was difficult, but the same way back with the 20-liter-canister on their backs, often led the women to the limits of their strength. This exhausting journey had to be done one day out of two.

“The Berkad is a real blessing for our community”, says the district administrator proudly and happily during the handover. All three water sources have been built at places where also some families of our sponsorship program live. Besides the currently 40 families in this program, the water sources facilitate the lives of thousands of people.

“Up to now, I had to get up very early to be able to supply my family with water”, tells me one of the women, who now can reach the new water source in only a few minutes.

“I had to leave my children and my animals alone, while I was on the exhausting march to the former well. Arriving back home, I was always very exhausted, but I had to care for the household and the family, however. For me and my family, it is an indescribable relief to have the Berkad near us.”

Since July 2010, the “Right to access to clear water” has been recognized as a human right by the UN. For its implementation, it will need many people with courage and will, generous donations like the one of Bild Hilft e.V. and we will have to dig out some more wells, too.

The humedica water project is one small step on the way to reach this aim. Each drop and each donated Euro counts. Please support our work for the needy, too, with a directed donation!

Another possibility of helping is the family sponsorship, which offers comprehensive help for the Ethiopian families. Become the sponsor of a family, witness their development and take part in their lives!

      humedica e.V.
      Reference "Family Sponsorships"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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