Amina Aman, 60-years-old, recalls the dire situation concerning access to potable water in her small vicinity of Faji Gobe Kebele in the Shashemene District of Oromia Regional State.
The old, yet vibrant, Amina endured enormous challenges as she had to fetch water from a small stream traveling in excess of 3-km every day to fetch water from a small stream and fulfill the water needs of her family of five.
Amina and her fellow local women often had to leave their homes before dawn to avoid the scorching sun on their way to/and back from the small stream located in a neighboring vicinity.
“I remember once I and two other women, one of them pregnant, left our vicinity before dawn. Upon reaching our destination, we encountered a hyena alongside the terrain on banks of the stream. We scared for our lives as we saw the hyena and hid in the bush until we were sure it left the area and disappeared from our sights,” Amina shivers as recalls the frightening moment.
Despite countless challenges ranging from potential attacks by wild animals to sexual harassment by unknown men, Amina and fellow local women were for years left with no better option than the small stream for their daily water needs. To make things worse, after going through the enormous challenges, they could only get a contaminated river water prone to various communicable diseases.
“Those challenges are now a thing of the past thanks to this facility,” Amina said, pointing at a safe drinking water facility recently built in close proximity to her house by the WASH SDG Project.
The WASH SDG Project is under implementation by Amref Health Africa, in collaboration with its partners under the WASH Alliance International (WAI) in Shashamane and Arsi Negelle districts since 2018, targeting households and communities lacking basic access to safe water, sanitation facilities and low hygienic behavior.
“Unlike the past, we no longer suffer from cholera or other communicable diseases, which health workers attribute to the contaminated water we use. Our children, who were the major victims of recurrent diseases, will grow healthy thanks to this facility,” Amina said.
The WASH SDG Project envisioned a “world with universal, sustainable, and equitable access to and use of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, improved hygiene behaviors and elimination of open defecation by 2030.”
Amref Health Africa teams up with African communities to create lasting health change.