Clean Water Springs Forth New Life for Ethiopian Teen

I’ve been suffering from a cold for about a month now. It’s just lingering around and I can’t seem to get better. But one thing always helps: drinking lots of water. It’s the perfect way to flush out my system and make me feel better.

Emebiet Abera goes down the hill by her house five times a day and carries 20 liters of water in jerrycan back up the mountain to meet the water needs of her family and animals.

Emebiet Abera goes down the hill by her house five times a day and carries 20 liters of water in a jerrycan back up the mountain to meet the water needs of her family and animals.

But what if water didn’t help? What if water made us worse?

That was 15-year-old Emebiet Abera’s struggle in Ethiopia before Food for the Hungry (FH) intervention. She had to walk 40 minutes round-trip to carry 20 liters of water to her family and their livestock, five times a day. It was exhausting and thoroughly unrewarding. The water was infested and dangerous parasites and diseases, but it was all they had.

“I used to collect water from an open spring that was full of worms and leaches,” she said. “Frequently I got sick from intestinal parasites and missed school.”

A Safe Source for Clean Water Saved Emebiet’s Future!

Missing school was something Emebiet hated to do. She would walk an hour each way to get to school on days when she could because it was important to her to receive an education.

But the lack of clean water in her community was preventing her from having a future, and the water she did have slowly got worse as water supplies dwindled thanks to the El Niño drought.

Now that Emebiet's water source is protected, she is happy and healthy and regularly attending school.

Now that Emebiet’s water source is protected, she is happy and healthy and regularly attending school.

However, there was hope for Emebiet’s community. FH partnered with the Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA, an Ethiopian NGO) to protect the spring in her community. This means they built a cement enclosure around the entrance to the spring, protecting the water quality and storing it in a safe tank.

“Now I am so happy and healthy because of the clean water I get from a well-protected source,” Emebiet said.

Now, the water is springing up life in her community and is ensuring a positive future for Emebiet.

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