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Friday, October 2, 2009

Clean water arrives for 200,000 people in Derashe Woreda, Ethiopia

The people of southern Ethiopia’s Derashe Woreda were literally drinking themselves to death when HOPE International Development Agency first arrived a decade ago.

At the time, only 11 percent of the people living in Derashe had access to sources of drinkable water, most of which were not reliable. The rest of the population had no source of clean drinking water. The water they could find came from filthy ponds or the silt-laden remains of dried up riverbeds - both of which were teeming with deadly parasites and bacteria.

The consequences were devastating, as evidenced by the fact that 17 of 100 children in this region were dying before the age of five.

Today, nearly all of the 200,000 people living in Derashe have access to abundant and sustainable supplies of clean water – right in their villages! Their hard work and the support of generous HOPE International Development Agency donors made it possible to construct the 85 water systems now serving the population of Derashe.

Yet as we celebrate with the people of Derashe, we are mindful of people in Bonke Woreda, a neighboring region where clean water is simply not available. Disease is ravaging their villages and their children are dying at a rate equal or greater to that of Derashe before the arrival of clean water. More than 22,000 people in the area are in need of clean water and we have begun work that will result in each one of them gaining access to abundant and reliable sources of clean water!

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