Heading off to the Horn of Africa

water tapWorld Water Day was a couple of weeks ago.  How did you celebrate?

Coincidentally, I spent a good part of the week surrounding World Water Day without it, as a result of repairs going on in my home.  That sure gave me an up-close-and-personal reminder of how much I, like so many of us, take water for granted.

It’s amazing how many times I went to turn on the tap – to wash my hands, boil a kettle for tea, or top up the water in Farley’s bowl.  Each time I “forgot” the water wouldn’t be there – fresh, clean, clear and running cold (or hot) as needed from any one of a dozen taps inside and outside my home.

Farley

CFTC's Chief Canine Officer, Farley Mowat, awaiting a top-up of clean water.

And each time, the shock of nothing coming out of the tap reminded me of my upcoming visit to Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa – where as we all know, drought continues to threaten vast numbers of the population.  And where hot and cold running water from a kitchen tap, a well-equipped bathroom, plus any number of water spouts, hoses and appliances that keep plants, pets and persons hydrated and blooming is a distant dream for so many.

I’m off to visit our partners and projects in Ethiopia, where thankfully none of the communities in which we work has been directly impacted by the 2011/2012 drought.  But all of them have been affected more generally by lack of clean, drinkable, safe water within a reasonable distance.

Water impacts so many aspects of the communities we support at CFTC. Clean water means a better chance at good health. Good health means a better chance at staying in school. Staying in school means a better chance at a future livelihood to support a family and contribute to building stronger, more resilient, sustainable communities, generation after generation.

drilling for water

Striking water at 126 feet!

One of the first things we’ll be doing upon arrival in Ethiopia is visiting the water sourcing and distribution project we are supporting in Gelan Gura, an impoverished community just outside of the capital of Addis Ababa.  Gelan Gura’s 850 families have been burdened by having just one, filthy and polluted water source – the Akaki River – which is more than 10 km away.  We wrote about it in last month’s Childhood enewsletter.

CFTC’s local partner in this part of Ethiopia is EDA (Emmanuel Development Association), and they’re the lead on the Gelan Gura Water Initiative.  They’ve now advised that the first borehole well has successfully ‘struck water’ at 126 feet down, and they are ready to move to phase two: building the community water distribution system.

I cannot wait to talk with the community and learn more about what this means to them ~ and maybe take a little less for granted the wonder of water that flows clean and cold from my home taps!

Looking forward to blogging for you over the next couple of weeks from Ethiopia!

~Debra