Ashumar's Dream

Ashumar smiles while gathering water from her new, community hand pump.

As a mother, Ashumar’s first priority has always been a bright future for her four young kids. But walking to gather unsafe water used to make the future seem like an impossible dream.

Every single day, Ashumar used to walk over an hour to visit the water source nearest her village in the foothills of Northern Ethiopia. There, she and many others would stoop low to fill their jerrycans and other vessels with surface water, never knowing if today would be the day it might make their families sick.

The extremely poor quality of the water, which was shared by people and animals alike, often caused health issues for Ashumar’s community, but neither she nor her neighbors had a choice: they needed the water.

To make matters worse, the hours she spent fetching water each day and the bouts of illness it brought into her home saw Ashumar struggling to get her children to school regularly. She was devastated to watch her kids failing exams and falling behind their peers.

There had to be a better way, but each of her many pleas to the local ‘woreda’ government fell on deaf ears. It looked like nothing would ever change.

Thanks to generous funding from the Cartier Charitable Foundation and support from people like you, two of our local partners, were able to intervene and construct a sustainable handpump in the center of Ashumar's village. This pump sits atop a covered well, drawing safe water up from deep underground.

Today, Ashumar smiles brightly while gathering safe water from the new handpump. Just before leaving to return home with a jerrycan full of life-changing water, Ashumar said the new pump “saved her community from traveling long distances and [growing exhausted.]” Now she has time to focus on cultivating her small, traditional farm, and her kids have more time to study and play.

Ashumar expressed a deep commitment to following guidance from ORDA and Amref to keep the well in tip-top condition. That way, Ashumar can ensure safe water for herself, her children, and her entire village for many years to come.

Ashumar and her four children stand near their home.

Capital: Addis Ababa
Population of 98.9 million
42.5 million lack access to safe water
71 million lack access to improved sanitation
72% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day