s130729-1; Guraghe ADP

Children fetch clean drinking water from a water point in the Fessa Water Project, Guraghe ADP. Ethiopia’s Guraghe Area Development Project is 12 years old. Tesfaye Labisso is the ADP manager. The focus of this project is education, food security, health and sanitation, HIV and AIDS, and sponsorship. Schools and libraries have been constructed. Books and equipment have been provided to children. Guraghe created opportunities for people who didn’t have food for 3-4 months per year to feed their families with new farming techniques and new crops. There are about 4,000 sponsored children here. Sponsorship funding paid for the massive Fessa Water Project that has turned people’s lives around in Guraghe. In Guraghe ADP, the Fessa Water Project was completed in 2008. Water points at more than 54 spots. It runs 31 kilometers from end to end. There are more than 50 washing basins. Cattle troughs as well. The source is a spring with 30 liters per second discharge. They leave a certain portion for downstream users. It’s not just for water, but irrigation. They have started horticulture, such as apples, coffee, mango, and avocado. In the beginning of the project, Fessa supplied 36,000 people with water. Now—more than 40,000 are receiving water. The Fessa Water Project is a Multiple Uses of Water Services project—it allows for using water at home and in the field. In Ethiopia, the most common sources of drinking water are protected springs. A limited number of people in the countryside have access to sanitation. The Fessa WASH project, completed in 2004, benefits more than 36,000 people in Guraghe ADP. Guraghe is a place with severe water shortages. Before the project, more than 75 percent of the population got water from unprotected sources—so dangerous for health. More than a third of the people had to travel more than an hour to fetch water, especially women and children. Diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, intestinal parasites, malnutrition, TB, skin and eye infections were common. The Fessa water project capped springs, laid 31.1 kilometers of pipe, constructed two 100 cubic meter reservoirs, 47 water points, 6 cattle troughs, and 22 clothes washing basins. It introduced vegetable gardening and fruit development, training artisans, and formed a WASH board and committees to oversee the project after completion. A water board with 11 members oversees the project. Two women collect fees from water users—2 birr per month. The project has yielded amazing results. It increased the accessibility of water to vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. Women’s roles in decision making have increased. Before, no one had vegetable or fruit crops. Today, 55 percent of the population does. Before, it took one hour to collect water. Today, it takes 15 minutes. Before, less than 10 percent of the people had access to sanitation facilities. Today, 90 percent do.

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