Gadisa Hurisa is a 47-year-old farmer who lives with her husband and seven children in an informal settlement called Soloko Kurfa in Adama town, Dabesoloke Kebele. She was born and raised in Soloko Kurfa and describes the lives of her family and neighbors positively. She reflects on how much better life has become for her family in the last couple of years sharing, “God always stands with us. It is because of God that this project reached us.”
Until two years ago, Gadisa would travel far from her village to fetch water from a communal water point over a kilometer away. She would spend nearly two to three hours each day commuting and queuing for water.
The cost of water and the transportation was a challenge for Gadisa, “I used to fetch three cans (commonly called Jerry can -25lit capacity) per day for daily water use. Once a week, I would fetch a total of five to six Jerry cans so we would have enough water to wash our clothes. The amount of water I’d fetch was not enough for my family. I spent more than 200 Birr (ETB) per month. This also impacted my daughter’s education because, sometimes, she also helped to fetch water. My husband desires to tend to his cattle for income generation, but lack of water has been an obstacle to that.”
Gadisa expressed that she was doubtful when she first heard of the ‘Making WASH Everybody’s Business’ (MWEB) project’s plan to extend the local water pipeline: “Before three years, when we heard about the plans to extend the water pipeline to our village, I didn’t believe it. But, now, it’s been done and we have water connection within our home. My family is very happy with Amref and the resulting water utility.” Gadisa and her family now pay 160 ETB per month as a water fee, in which they use an average of 10 Jerry cans per day. In comparison, she was spending over 200 ETB per month only to fetch about three cans each day. Her husband is now able to tend to his cattle and fulfill his dream of making a living as a cattle herder, and their daughter is a full-time university student. Gadisa’s family income has increased as a result of the project’s expansion of the water supply. This experience helped to reaffirm her understanding of water as fundamental to life and a basic human right.
Amref Health Africa teams up with African communities to create lasting health change.