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!
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.
In the past month work has started on the Water and Sanitation project in Mela Gagula. This is monumental news for the 672 households that have never had access to clean water previously! We are very grateful for those of you who recently donated to this project (including those of you who sponsored Kendrick on his 10k run), as it meant that the project could go ahead as planned.
Before work could start, members of the community had to first build a road to their village so that HOPE's vehicles and lorries could deliver the necessary building and plumbing materials. A road that was accessible to vehicles never existed previously. This was back-breaking work for the community, but one they knew would be the start of a different future. The road was completed at the end of April, but poor weather conditions meant there was a delay until the materials could safely be delivered.
In the meantime, HOPE construction staff (a hydrologist, foreman and truck driver) as well as our HOPE health educationalist have set up their tents in the village and will be living in Mela Gagula until their work is complete. This allows them time to develop genuine relationships with the local people and model using good hygiene and sanitation decisions. They will also provide much training - for the 20 Water Caretakers that have been appointed to repair and maintain the water system - and for 15 Community Educators who will teach each household about practicing improved hygiene behaviours (such as building pit latrines and the hygienic use of them, hand-washing with clean water, safe food preparation and storage). This training for local people is essential to ensure that the community fully benefits from access to clean water by changing their previous habits, but also so that the system will continue to be operational years after HOPE has moved on. From this early stage, there is already a sense of local ownership of the water system, which will essentially lead to sustainability and an increased confidence in local skills.
Since the beginning of May, the weather conditions have stabilised and the HOPE construction team have requested the community to collect and provide local materials that are available. These include rocks and stones for the water tanks and points, as well as sand. Wood from local trees will also be needed for fencing around each of the 10 water points to ensure they are kept safe and not damaged by animals. For this project, two springs are being capped to ensure there is enough water for each of the water points. Soon pipe lines will be dug 5.9km, from the spring to the village, to carry the clean water. This will be the next task for members of the community which will take many weeks.
Thank you again for your support of this project. You can see how work is progressing and, assuming there are no more interruptions to the work, the taps should be turned on August! We will keep you informed. Immediately after the lifestyle and quality of life for women and their children, in particular, will change as they will no longer need to walk 3-4 hours for water each day. 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. Children will therefore be able to attend school regularly and their parents can then devote themselves to efforts to earn needed money for their families. In addition, 240 women will soon be starting new, small business as a result of their new training from HOPE staff on entrepreneurial skills, as well as fundamentals of saving and lending money.
Work will continue to progress in Mela Gagula but in the UK, we are now turning our attention to our next project in another Ethiopian village called Alugube and Durbe. Join us by making a donation to bring life-changing water to that community of 1,986 as well.
If you would like to keep up-to-date with our ongoing investment in rural Ethiopia by receiving HOPE's e-newsletters, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your donations and support which have helped to bring hope to the rural village of Mela Gagula.