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Delivering sustainable drinking water to drought affected communities in Ethiopia


December 12, 2022 • 2 min read

The Oromia region in Shalla District has suffered from recurring drought over the last 2 years. As climate change continues to wreak havoc on local communities, families are struggling to survive.

Worryingly, in the last year drought has intensified in the region. Communities are struggling to access drinking water and crops have been decimated.

Joanna Reid, GOAL’s Director of International Programmes, recently visited the region to meet with local communities

Walking for Hours to Access Clean Water

Haji Kasim Gemechu lives in Albila Geto village which has been badly affected by the adverse weather conditions. He has been working with the government and aid organisations to source clean water in his community.

“You don’t need education or unique wisdom to understand the need for clean water. It has not been easy for people of Shalla. Our whole life is defined by it. Regularly, children and mothers are walking for four hours with twenty-five litres of water on their back. Mothers have no time to take care of themselves or their children,” Haji says.

“We have tried many ways to overcome this problem, but we find ourselves back in the same situation after a short period of relief,” Haji continues.

GOAL’s Response

With drought enduring in Shalla long term sustainable solutions are required to ensure local communities have access to clean water. In response, with funding from UNICEF, GOAL teams have sourced a high power generator to pump fresh drinking water from the ground. GOAL staff have also delivered training to the local water committee to ensure smooth running of the facility.

The facility has helped to transform lives in Shalla. Over twenty-five thousand residents can now access clean water nearby at the turn of a tap.

Joanna Reid, GOAL’s Director of International Programmes, speaks with staff overseeing operations in Shalla

Desta Gemeda works at the district water and energy bureau in Shalla District. “I have no words to express the challenges that our community has been going through. Sometimes they are forced to migrate in search of clean water. Thanks to GOAL and its donors! Now we are able to support our community to access clean water and their challenge is somewhat solved.”

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