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Friday, September 9, 2016

Everything changes when clean water is present

In many respects, Dalume Zalla is a typical small community in southern Ethiopia, with one very notable exception. The community has clean water!

Sinafikish Tolba, a 34-year old mother of six children remembers what it was like when clean water was not available. Sinafikish and her children, ranging from 6 months to 15-years old, would begin their day well before sunrise as they set off in search of water for the day.

On some days, the journey would take them as far as 4 kilometers away from their community. On each day, the water they did find was sure to make them sick because it was gathered from stagnant ponds frequented by animals.

Today, because of the support received, Sinafikish and her family, along with every other family in Dalume Zalla, gather clean water right in their village – less than 3 minutes away from their homes.

The incidence of water-borne disease has been dramatically reduced, if not eliminated. Children are able to spend more time in school and less time trekking through the arid hills in search of water. Parents are able to spend more time tending their small plots of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, barley, and sugarcane – generating much needed sources of income and food.

“The water we have is clean,” says Sinafikish. “We are so fortunate to see our children not getting sick anymore. And of top of this, I no longer worry about my children being late for school because they were out fetching water. To have water in our community is a sign we are moving forward. God bless you!”

Before the arrival of clean water, the people of Dalume Zalla felt neglected, undervalued, and hopeless. Today, the community feels affirmed and is ready to take on other initiatives that will further improve their quality of life.

When we invest in the value of others, like Sinafikish, the legacy is sure to continue for generations to come.