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Nov 1, 2017

Mud! Mud! Everywhere is mud!

Girl fetching water from existing spring
Girl fetching water from existing spring

In the past few months in the ward of Alugube and Durbe, which is a collection of six smaller villages, there has been an unseasonably large amount of rain.  The weather has caused many of the existing paths and roads to wash away and there have been greater challenges reaching the few local sources of water.  These streams and rivers, which are normally 3-4 hours away by foot, have taken longer to reach as a result, as paths are slippery and extremely muddy!  Whilst the 'water' is plentiful, it is dirty, cloudy and polluted with debris that has slid into the natural sources from the surrounding terrain due to the heavy rain.  These circumstances have made the desire for local, clean water greater than ever before.

Ideally, every family would instead collect the rain in buckets and makeshift water buts as an alternative to women and girls spending many hours of their days collecting water.  This would be the best scenario to also prevent them from making a dangerous journey where mud slides and flooding are also possibilites.  However, due to the very low standard of living, many families do not have many (if any) extra buckets and large bottles that they can collect rain water in.  Historically most of the families in Alugude and Durbe instead spend much of their limited money on medicines when their family members have fallen ill from drinking contaminated water from polluted sources.  Few have had the opportunity to buy needed materials, tools or life-improving items, in anticipation of these increasingly challenging rainy periods.  Each day is spent just surviving, and there is little energy left to plan for the future.

Desperation is growing for the day when HOPE's staff and lorries arrive with the materials needed to build a new water system for their community.  April 2018 is the time that has been set for this life-changing work to start.  This is dependant upon the rain ceasing so that the community can first build a road that can support the weight of the lorries.  Money is also necessary before the work with start.  This is a policy of HOPE to ensure that each project can start with the confidence that each project can also finish!  The community deserves this assurance.

Like much of the world, unseasonal weather patterns are also becoming more common throughout Ethiopia.  Unpredictability is the only thing that is certain.  The budget for this project, however, is a definite.  Like all of HOPE's projects, three different suppliers have submitted quotes for the materials and HOPE's project manager has determined the best cost and supplier for each item.   The full budget is then drawn up, along with the agreement of the local community to contribute labour and local materials (sand, wood, etc.), which is approximately 10% of the total budget.  The remaining money will need to be raised over the next six months if the current plans are to go ahead.

HOPE UK is pursing a variety of fundraisers to ensure that this community of 1,986 can improve the quality of their lives and has a source of safe, local water.  Thank you for your donation and playing your part in this life-changing water project.  We, and that community, are grateful.  Help us to invite others to join this worthwhile pursuit!

Oner of their existing sources of water
Oner of their existing sources of water

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Aug 7, 2017

Just days away from clean water!

Building the water reservoir
Building the water reservoir

Can you imagine the excitement that is building in Mela Gagula, only days before the taps will be turned on and 2,400 people will be able to access clean, safe water for the first time?  Never before have their days not be dominated by sourcing water that often brings illness and eye infections.  Never before have domestic duties been achieved in sufficient time for children to also attend a full day of school.  Never before have women not been carrying the burden of cooking and cleaning and also looking after ill family members whilst also ensuring that water is collected, although 3-4 hours away.  Never before have they not worried as they sent their daughters off to source water, fearing for their safety and future.

Now, however, their dream is coming true and access to clean water will thoroughly change their lives and the lives of future generations.

For this project, four springs have now been capped to ensure there is enough water for each of the 10 water points, evenly distributed around the village, one which is specifically for the local school. Two water tankers are also complete. The final pipe line to carry clean water 5.9 km from the spring to the village has been laid. In addition, thus far 49 pit latrines have been dug and the community are starting to practice improved hygiene practices – e.g. washing hands frequently with soap - as a result of HOPE’s health and sanitation education.  These attitudinal changes that have already been witnessed by HOPE staff show there is great commitment to fully benefit from the new water system and passion to maximise all of clean water's benefits, which is key for sustainability.

In addition, 12 groups of 20 women each will soon be starting new, small businesses as a result of their training from HOPE staff on entrepreneurial skills.  These groups have been meeting and for the first time ever, these women are starting to save money, in preparation for lending to one another to assist with kick-starting personal and group income generation.  Although literacy is limited, because so few of these women had the opportunity to attend school, there is a growing confidence that they will be able to financially contribute to their families and have a louder and stronger voice within their marriages and wider-community.

The taps are due to be turned on in mid-August. Immediately after, the quality of life for these women and their children, in particular, will change as they will no longer need to walk 3-4 hours for water each day.  The health of the community will improve rapidly as they drink, cook, and wash with water that is safe and not contaminated. The health of their livestock will benefit as well. More food will be grown and consumed.  The quality of their lives will have improved beyond measure.

Thank you for making this possible!  

Do follow our fundraising progress on our next water and sanitation project in Alugube and Durbe and support us in changing more lives!

Trench digging
Trench digging
Using new pit latrine and hand washing
Using new pit latrine and hand washing
Community contribution
Community contribution
Aug 2, 2017

Bringing clean water to a village & health post!

Waiting for medicine
Waiting for medicine

This woman and her crying baby are waiting outside the local health clinic in a rural village in Ethiopia. They have waited for it to open since 6.30am in the morning. The ill child woke unwell, and the mother is desperate to get medical attention and some of the limited medicine available. Without the medicine, the illness could be fatal. This is why HOPE's projects are always accompanied by health and hygiene education. This knowledge is fundamental in preventing illness, especially for the young and vulnerable.  

Unlike in the village of Alugube and Durbe, clean water has arrived in this community and is accessible at this very clinic.  The incidences of waterborne diseases are starting to decrease and the incidences of death, especially among children less than five years old, are starting to fall. Sadly too many people had experienced death within their nuclear families. Now that is starting to change, thanks to clean water and health education. 

It is planned that the health post in Alugube and Durbe will similarly receive access to clean water when the water system has been completed.  This is a fundamental and vital need for a health post.  Assuming all funds have been raised, work will begin in April 2018.  Alongside running fundraising events and participating in various crowdfunding initiatives, HOPE UK staff are currently busy submitting grant applications to find Foundations and Trusts that would like to partner with HOPE by financially supportng this life-changing project.  We have also corporate support from a new start-up company, The Complete Mortgage Shop, who have decided to donate a portion of their profits to our work.  The Director stated,

“The reason for supporting water projects is simple for me, because I believe water is the most important overall basic need. With clean water nearby, people will no longer suffer from diseases caused by drinking dirty water.  Access to clean water enables them to do so much more with their added time through beneficial activities such as farming, pursuing an education and building better houses for shelter. This is a no brainer for me – HOPE tackles the heart of the problem.”

HOPE's desire is to work with this community of 1,986 to bring access to clean water, provide hygiene education to ensure long-term healthly lifestyles and decision making and also to teach basic business skills to 200 women so they will be able to financially contribute to their families.  Even with a clinic, the long term health of the community without clean water is very severly limited.  However, when clean water is available health will improve as well as opportunity of attending school and purusing income-generating activities, providing a sustainable future for Alugube and Durbe.  

Thank you for your support for this community.  Please continue to remember us as we continue to raise more funds.

Existing health post in Alugube and Durbe
Existing health post in Alugube and Durbe

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