High in the northern mountains of Ethiopia and over a mile from the last dirt road is the rural village of Mai-ba. For decades, this small community relied on seasonal mountain streams as their only source of water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. These streams were also shared with livestock and wild animals.
As this region became drier and drier over the years due to climate change, water became more scarce. The community dug an open well about 45 feet deep to ensure consistent access to water. But early last year a young child fell in and drowned. Unable to recover his body, Mai-ba community members had to abandon that water source too.
Just a few months ago, Water.org and its local partner REST completed a new, safe water source in Mai-ba. This spring catchment system and water reservoir allows the villagers to quickly collect water from a tap when they arrive each morning, instead of walking long distances to a contaminated source or waiting on a slow-trickling stream. We caught a happy moment as one of the young girls from Mai-ba drank from their new water system.