Providing access to clean water in Dita Woreda
ORBIS has been working in Dita Woreda, in southern Ethiopia for five years. Dita has traditionally had a very high prevalence of trachoma with very poor water coverage. Access to clean water is vital in the fight against avoidable blindness. Diseases like trachoma are highly contagious and are easily spread through contact with a family member or friend. Education around the importance of clean hands and faces significantly minimises the spread of trachoma but without access to clean water the education is futile.
Dita has a population of 91,594 and is situated 60 kilometres from the nearest town of Arba Minch. Dita is separated into 24 kebeles (villages) situated in mountainous terrain with very poor infrastructure.
Dita is beautifully green and has a lot of rain during the rainy season. It may seem strange that in an area where there is a lot of rain, albeit for only a few months of the year, there is no facility to collect water. But the reality is that there is simply no infrastructure in place to facilitate this.
ORBIS is working with Water Aid and local company Mekane Yesus to change this. While we were in Dita, we visited a new ORBIS funded water station which uses a natural spring as its source. The water is piped from the spring to a simply designed water station where it is accessible at a number of points through taps. The cost of building the water station and laying the pipes was only $500 and this water station now provides clean water to around 100 households or 650 people. Local people were encouraged to assist in the building of the water station. This reduces the cost, gives them ownership and helps change their traditional practices of collecting (often unclean) water from the local stream or river.
Providing access to clean water facilities, not only helps in the fight against trachoma but it also helps prevent the spread of many other diseases. ORBIS’s vision is a world where no one is needlessly blind. Your support of our clean water projects will have a very significant impact on this, giving the people of this region access to something that is a basic human right.
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