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Thursday, March 8, 2012

We listened and we hope you will too

Recently, David McKenzie, International President of HOPE International Development Agency, met with Chief Tochi, leader of a small village of people in Koshale in the lowlands of southern Ethiopia.

Chief Tochi has never stopped trying to save his people. The problem is, no one ever stopped long enough to listen. We have and we hoping that you will too...

"We are living in a desert. We are living in the borderlands. Water is not in our country. When our women have babies, they do not have enough milk. Because the babies do not get enough milk, they get sick. Our primary problem is water.

Water is life. Our blood is water.

To preserve that life we walk to great distances, women, children, and animals. We have written letters about this to the government many times. I myself have written letters asking why they ignore pastoralist areas. Those living in the highlands, where water is easier to access, get help. But those who live far from the water are not helped.

So when we see you we are happy because at last you are paying attention. If you get us water, we will be really joyful. If you do this, the babies will grow up to be men and women.

In 1990, there were people who came in helicopters and they told us that they would bring water and irrigation and nothing happened. We were extremely unhappy about that and we thought, are we not human beings?”

Chief Tochi shares more about the need...

David: Chief Tochi, how far do you and your people travel for water?

Chief Tochi: We walk 5 hours to get the water and come back.

David: With all the villages that need clean water, why choose yours?

Chief Tochi: I recognize that others have needs, but our own needs are huge. We would hope to be helped as others are helped.

David: How would our big truck get here (a 10-ton truck is used during the clean water system construction and installation)?

Chief Tochi: If you would promise to come, we would make sure the road is fixed. We made these paths a long time ago but we did not see any benefit from them, so we didn’t keep them up. But we would for clean water. I assure you that we will do whatever it takes.
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“Whatever it takes”. That is how far Chief Tochi is willing to go to ensure that his people do not continue to suffer and die from drinking dirty water.

I can assure you that we at HOPE International Development Agency will do whatever it takes to ensure that Chief Tochi and his people gain access to the clean water they so desperately need.

If you can help, visit www.hope-international.com today.

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