Brooke Ethiopia celebrates the opening of 17 water projects
Brooke Ethiopia celebrated the opening of 17 water projects within the Oromia region on 16 March 2020, with an official inauguration. The project involved installing water points, troughs, reservoirs and line extensions that will provide approximately 80,868 working horses, donkeys and mules and their communities with a much needed resource in areas suffering from severe water shortages.
Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa, meaning it is particularly susceptible to periods of drought. As such, especially in rural areas, many members of the population are without access to clean, safe water. Brooke has invested 26 million ETB (£660.709) towards constructing water projects, across six different districts.
One of the inaugurated projects was in Ashalicho, a small Kebele (ward) with little infrastructure or access to technology. For centuries, a small water spring was the only water source for three neighbouring villages of over 5000 households and close to 10,000 horses, donkeys and cattle. After hours of walking, women would join a long queue, before setting off home with their animals carrying or pulling heavy loads. Since Brooke’s first involvement in 2017, the community has benefitted from the construction of a water reservoir, water points and a trough, marking an end to long queues and low supplies.
Whilst such projects will not solve the water shortages fully, they are a major step forward for many communities and equines in the Oromia region. Ethiopia is home to approximately nine million working equines. They play a crucial role in the national economy, transporting water, grains, fuel wood and agricultural products, but their welfare can be extremely poor. Following the inauguration of these 17 water projects, many more of these hard working animals and their owners will have access to safe drinking water.