Happiness came in the form of clean water for Priest Gebrehiwet Weldetsadkan, his wife Abrehet Reda, and their four children. Their lives changed when Water.org and its local partner, Relief Society of Tigray (REST), came to their community of Whidet, in northern Ethiopia.
Priest Gebrehiwet Weldetsadkan shares his story:
“The program has changed my family’s life, as well as the community too. For instance, we previously used to get water from a distant river of poor quality where people were bathing and washing their clothes in the stream, along with the animals. As a result of the [Water.org and REST] program, we have clean water to drink. This is the most important thing for us.
We like the program because it solved the shortage of clean water in our village and enabled our kids to attend to their education properly.
The new water point reduces the walking distance by almost half an hour and for us. This is a big improvement. As a result, we are now spending our time on other, more productive, activities.
When we heard that Water.org and REST were going to construct a water point in the vicinity where we live, we were delighted. The whole community cooperated and participated in construction of the water point.
Some people even built latrines as part of the program. I attended one training focusing on hygiene and environmental sanitation practices. The training sessions were helpful, as it has enabled me to know more about health and sanitation, which I did not know before. We learned how washing our hands with soap before and after every meal, as well as after visiting the latrine, are the most effective ways to protect our health status.
I have already told many whom I know about the training and I will continue to pass it on to other parts of the community who did not get the chance to attend. We are using different [opportunities] such as the holidays, weekends, and meetings, to share what we learned with others.
Our community formed a water and sanitation committee to manage and maintain the water point on a daily basis. The program is managed by the committee, the community, and the hired guard. The guard and the committee are responsible for the day-to-day activities of the well. The committee regularly talks with the community about how they are performing their duty as a water committee; rules and regulations issued by the committee; the fees collected in order to use the well; and closing and opening the water point. Our community is capable because we are aware of the importance of this program and how we can sustain it.
The community will take on other programs after this. It requires the participation of all the beneficiaries in the day-to-day activities to make it last.”
Thank you for helping us to make clean water a reality for people like Priest Gebrehiwet Weldetsadkan and his family!