WATER AND SANITATION PROJECT Gondar, Ethiopia
Rotary Club of Columbia-Patuxent
PROJECT PURPOSE: This project will drill 12 water wells in ten villages just outside Gondar, Ethiopia and introduce sanitation practices such as building pit latrines and creating waste disposal systems. These efforts will provide clean water and better sanitation practices, and an overall improvement to health and quality of life for 21,887 people from these villages.
THE PROBLEM: Everyday most of the women and young girls from these villages must walk 2-5 hours to reach water. Often the water that is available is unclean, causing sickness and sometimes death. They then must carry all the water that their family will need for that day, back to their homes on their backs. Many of the young girls in this region cannot attend school because their family needs them to carry water every day.
SOME HISTORY: In 2006, the Columbia-Patuxent Rotary Club and the Foundation Against HIV/AIDS (FAHA), started a homecare program for HIV victims in Gondar. After the success of this program, in 2007, the Mayor of Gondar made a request to the Rotary Club that it help drill wells in villages outside the city limits, where clean water was scarce. In 2009, the Club authorized its International Lane to establish contact with the City and undertake this project. After negotiations with the City Administration and Rotary clubs in Ethiopia, a team of 3 persons was sent to Gondar in Nov. 2010 to finalize plans for the project. A water consultant from Engineers Without Borders was part of the team and accompanying them in order to evaluate water availability and accessibility in the villages. The visit was a success. The team witnessed the need, made all the contacts necessary to ensure a successful project, and secured the commitment of the local government to maintain the wells after they were put in place. The Finot Rotary Club in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital) had its President-Elect come to Gondar during the final two days the US team was there and she participated in the final negotiations with the local leaders. When the US team attended the Finot Club’s weekly meeting in Addis Ababa on Nov. 2, the Finot Club agreed to be the host club within the Rotary International system and work with Columbia-Patuxent in this international project. In addition to supervising the execution of the project, they will encourage the fledging informal Rotary Club in Gondar to assist in the project’s completion. Finot Club is also part of a special Water Project committee representing the support of six Rotary Clubs in Addis Ababa.
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