News

Celebrate Solutions: Community Well Brings Access to Clean Water

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

For some of us, accessing clean water means a short walk to the faucet. Yet in many parts of the world, such as the Tigray region of Ethiopia, girls and women are tasked with walking hours, sometimes through unsafe terrain, to collect water from polluted rivers.

This work is exhausting and time-consuming—in just one day, women spend 200 hours of work collecting water for their families. These are hours that could have been spent at jobs, at school, or caring for family members. A lack of safe access to clean water encompasses many issues, including hygiene, sanitation, personal safety, economics, education, and gender equality.

In 2004, Water.org began working in Ethiopia to address this need. This past year, with support from Catapult and matching funds from Johnson & Johnson, Water.org and local partner The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) built a community well in Tigray that brings 300 people reliable access to safe water. The woman and girls previously assigned to fetch water now have more time to attend jobs, go to school, and have time for other areas of their lives.

Also, Water.org established and trained a gender-balanced, six person water and sanitation committee which will guide the well’s maintenance. Water.org and REST presented education trainings on hygiene and sanitation for community members, who in turn are working on raising awareness within the community.

For more information about this project, please click here, and visit the Water.org website for information about their work in Ethiopia.

Photo via Water.org

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