The work on the Kalebo Laka water system has been progressing nicely over the past three months. Much of the water infrastructure is now complete and the finishing touches on the water and wash points in the village just need to be completed.
Health and hygiene education is also being conducted throughout the village to ensure that the community is changing their behaviours in regards to cleanliness and sanitation. In fact, HOPE's Community Mobiliser, Lydia, will continue to live in Kalebo Laka for over a year (a new government guideline) to model and continue to embed these lessons to ensure that the benefits of having access to clean water are fully realised by the local community.
A HOPE UK supporter was travelling in Africa last month and spent an afternoon in Kalebo Laka, observing the nearly completed project. He was able to observe many components of the work being worked on: the new water reservoir while men rendered the inside, pipes being laid from the capped spring to the reservoir and the foundations being prepared for the nine water points. Upon reflecting on his time in Kalebo Laka (and another village where the water system is now up and running), he writes "Addressing the impact of poverty is profoundly complex; no one person (the poor, charities/NGOs, donors) can solve it alone and it is a very imperfect science. But when you find yourself holding one of the jigsaw pieces that can help unlock the puzzle for even a few people, slotting it in place is maybe one of the best (and most humbling) feelings in the world."
Thank you for playing a part in addressing poverty in this very rural village in southwest Ethiopia. You also have helped to unlock the puzzle and have helped to change their future. They are very grateful.
Very shortly the taps will be turned on in Kalebo Laka. Access to clean water will not only improve their health but most significantly their future, giving them hope that they can improve their lives and the lives of future generations.
The people of Bonke, a district in southern Ethiopia, suffer greatly due to a lack of clean water. When HOPE International Development Agency began working in Bonke in 2010, only 14% of people had access to clean water. Everyone else travelled several hours to use ponds, rivers, and unprotected springs. It is hard to underestimate what this means for the health and well-being of women, men, and children. Dirty water means sickness, wasted time, and missed school. Dirty water steals hope and makes it impossible for people to meet their full potential.
Thanks to help from people like you, in the past six years HOPE International Development Agency has provided clean water to 69,000 people in Bonke, bringing clean water access up to 53% in the district. Our goal is to continue working with communities, village by village, to help families out of poverty and into sustainable lifestyles.
An example of this is in Gezesso, where soon families who are in dire need of help will have a significant investment in their health and self-reliance so that they can thrive. Helping these families access clean, nearby water is a simple solution to many of their problems. With clean water piped from springs in their community to village water taps steps from their homes, the 2,383 people who live in Gezesso will have hope they never had before.
There are three springs in the community that can be capped to provide more than enough water for the daily use of women, men, and children who live there – enough even for the community as it grows in the future. Once these springs are capped and the water is piped almost 6.5 km to people’s doorsteps, life in the community will change dramatically. In addition to infrastructure, HOPE International Development Agency will work with families to teach them simple steps that can keep them healthier, such as washing their hands, using shelving in their homes, and digging latrines. A local water management committee will be formed to ensure that the community has the tools and knowledge needed to care for their water well into the future. Caretakers and community health educators will be trained and given responsibility to work with others in their village to keep the water points and surroundings clean. Women will have the opportunity to gather together into groups with their neighbors and friends to learn new skills and support each other.
We are presently finalising the plans for this project to commence. Our partner organisation in Canada has also been working to fundraise to cover the costs so that materials might be purchased. Thank you for the contribution you have already made. Collectively we are all working to bring positive, fundamental change to this needy, rural region of Ethiopia.
Thank you for your generous support of families in Nepal affected by the devastating earthquake last year. Your donations have helped familes and communities begin the road to recovery. After completing a baseline survey and program orientation, we were able to identify 60 families (20 in Sarki Gaun, 20 in Sunkhani, and 20 in Sindhupalchowk) for housing construction support. The baseline survey revealed that families living in these communities were the most vulnerable, as over 50% of the homes were destroyed. Multiple aftershocks, fuel shortages, and Nepal’s harsh weather have made it extremely difficult for families in these areas rebuild after the earthquake. The one-on-one interviews conducted by local staff helped identify and respond to some of the situational factors that could potentially increase vulnerabilities at both local and community levels. To date, 40 houses have been constructed and 20 more are under construction.
Three women’s groups in Sipapokhare, Bhotsipa, and Sunkhani have been established. Each group has 30 members. These three self-help groups meet twice a month to discuss challenges and share with each other their hopes and ambitions to save money for their families. The money is saved in a joint account and women can take a loan from the group to establish or expand their businesses. These 90 women have begun basic adult education, and will also be provided with livelihood training, such as poultry farming, goat raising, organic vegetable farming, and tailoring.
The project is going very well, and we look forward to continuing the great work you have generously supported!
Voices From Nepal: Ms. Sumitra Tamang
By the time the earthquake and aftershocks that struck Nepal last April had subsided, 9,000 people were dead, 22,000 were injured, and 800,000 homes lay in ruin. Sumitra, a life-long resident of Sunkhani, located in the Nuwokot District of central Nepal, was among the survivors. Recently, local staff visited with families, like Sumitra’s, who have been working tirelessly to rebuild their lives, livelihoods, homes, and community. Sumitra has lived in Sunkhani her entire life and works as a laborer whenever she can find work. Her husband left her 12 years ago. With three children and no income, life has been a day-to-day struggle ever since. When the earthquake struck, Sumitra lost everything. In just a few seconds, her house, and everything in it, lay in ruin.
“I felt hopeless. My children and I had no food or shelter,” says Sumitra, recalling the terrifying event. “We had to sleep outside under the trees, with empty stomachs. All of our clothes, food, and blankets were destroyed. I had lost all of my hope. For days we didn’t hear from anyone. I thought that the government didn’t care if we lived or died.”
Sumitra’s feelings changed when a relief camp was set up within a week or so of the earthquake. The camp would help build emergency shelters, and distribute food and clothes to the most vulnerable families. “I couldn’t stop crying because of how grateful I was,” recalls Sumitra when she found out that she would receive the support she needed to rebuild her home. Today, Sumitra and her children live in a sturdy, safe home. Sumitra, and other women just like her, will receive training, support, and small, low-interest loans to start small businesses that will generate income. Sumitra and other women in her community have lifted themselves out of the rubble of April 17, 2015 and rebuilt their lives thanks to the support of generous donors.