World Water Day

Today is World Water Day. In honor of this, earlier this week Ethiopian Orphan Relief granted $10,000 to Water’s 1st Dawo Kara project in Ethiopia.

Our partner Water 1st International is doing amazing work in a country where clean water is lacking over much of the country. Water 1st shares that Ethiopia is one of the world richest countries in terms of history, culture and heritage, yet is one of the poorest countries economically.

The burden of water collection is very high in Ethiopia. Women and girls spend hours every day collection water from distant sources. This time of collecting water is taking away from time they could be in school learning, working and much more.

Below is a photo provided to us a few days ago of a water point that YOU our amazing donors sponsored in the Gonbisa Kussaye in the Oromia region.

To date Ethiopian Orphan Relief has granted $40,000 to Water 1st for projects in Kelecho Gerbi, Tute Kunche and now Dawo Kara.

To learn more about Water 1st or to make a donation in honor of World Water Day please visit our website. Together, we can make clean water a reality for more Ethiopians.


World Water Day 2012

I thought I’d share some stories about Ethiopia, and water, on World Water Day 2012.

See these gorgeous guys?  When we met them at FOVC in November,  FOVC’s water project had been started, but not completed (they were waiting for a part for the pump to arrive).  In the meantime, these sweet boys and the dozens of other children at FOVC were given water as it was made available.  As you can see from the bottle, this water was filthy, but all that they had to drink/use for washing/use for cooking.

A  hand-washing station was available at FOVC,  just outside the new bathroom facilities EOR built last year.  A 3 gallon plastic container hung from a rail over a shallow basin, allowing multiple children the opportunity to wash.  Heated in the bright sunshine, the water swirled through the jug, brown and full of sediment.  EOR’s travel team chose not to use this water to wash, despite strong suggestions from the children.  Spying the clear bottles of thick sanitizer we used instead, they yelled, “ferenge water, ferenge water.” The children believe that I live in a world where my water is clean, and in this case, thick.

On the very first day we were in Ethiopia, the EOR travel team visited the water project we helped to fund in Busa.  Few sights moved me more than the reservoir and the beautifully-constructed 4 pt tap,

the reservoir at Busa

although the pride etched on each resident’s face comes awfully close.  Appreciative as they were to have the funding for this project, the village elders were obviously proud of what they had secured for themselves and their children.  This clean water means more girls go to school, fewer people die of water-borne disease, and that women have the ability to earn more for their families now that they spend fewer hours collecting water.   Seeing the benefits first-hand left an indelible mark.  I will trumpet the need for clean water (in Ethiopia and the rest of the world) for the remainder of my days.

The elders of Busa gathered to meet us at the reservoir.

As Ethiopian Orphan Relief reaches its 4th anniversary, it’s exciting to share that we have big plans for the coming year–among other things, land acquisition, a kitchen project, chicken coops, and yes, a  continued commitment to clean water.  On this 19th World Water Day, EOR recognizes that clean water is everything to the people of Ethiopia.  Indeed, it is everything to the world.

I’ll be making a special contribution to EOR’s water funding this week.  I’ll make an additional $1.19 contribution for each comment and each share.  Together, we can make clean water a reality for more Ethiopians.

YOU are clean water for Ethiopia.  YOU are EOR!


a tap in Busa flows with clean water


Boo Hoo.

Bummer.  I must say the the weather here in Oregon is occasionally overwhelming.  It has been an exceptionally wet spring and early summer… or is it Mid summer now… We have  an annual rainfall of  about 40 inches, but  many cities do.  These 40 inches are spread out over many more days than say New Jersey (where I grew up).  A gentle light mist of rain for 30-50 days in a row can be  very common in the winter months.   However,  today is July 17th and IT IS POURING!!!!   Geez,  great I don’t have to water my amazingly productive garden today.  I guess that is the bonus.

Sadly, while making a delicious dinner last night I heard a story about the water crisis in the Horn of Africa.  “Water Crisis”.   Hmmm.  Guess I should suck it up and deal with the water falling from my sky while my endless supply of clean water rolls down the drain as I ask my 4 year olds to turn off the faucet while  they brush their teeth.

Here is a excerpt from the PBS story I listened to on NPR yesterday.

A series of multimedia reports show how water stress across the horn of Africa is fueling conflict and threatening ancient ways of life.
A Dwindling Existence for Africa’s Pastoralists
By Ernest Waititu

“Annual rainfall is falling and even springs are drying out,” says Hassan, who is the tribal head of the Gare, a clan of some 475,000 people spread across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Their only option is to dig deeper to find water, sometimes to 100 feet or more below the dusty surface. Traditional wells, some of them dug 300 to 400 years ago, are disappearing at alarming rates. In one village in just a few years, nine wells have been covered by sand erosion, and the village has no means of reclaiming them.
Hassan admits that people, livestock and deforestation have added to the water shortages, but he and other local leaders have no answers for the rising temperatures experienced in recent years.

“Last year it rained for only two days,” says local area chief Ibrahim Ganamo, lifting two fingers in the air and shaking his head. Statistics are hard to come by, but Ganamo says that, last year, people lost 80 percent of their livestock.

EOR cares about water projects.  Paige Chapman-Layland is always asking me about our next “Water Project” …

I guess it is time to figure this out.   Thanks in advance to all of our pending donors who will jump on board to fund another sustainable “Water Project”. Lets get focused!!!!!!