OneWaSH case study – emergency WaSH

In the third and final case study from the OneWaSH 2009EFY Annual Report, we look at emergency WaSH provision in Oromia.

The humanitarian context in Ethiopia continues to evolve and seriously affect the lives of children, families and livelihoods. The village of Tokuma Bilisuma Kebele in the Melka Belo District of the region of Oromia is located in eastern Ethiopia and 190 kilometres from the nearest major city of Dire Dawa. The village has experienced impossible situations as one of the driest areas of Ethiopia where water is hard to come by and coverage is as low as 40%. Much of the human population and their cattle rely on small springs and ponds to source water for drinking and cleaning. The ongoing drought has further exacerbated the situation in the past year and depleted these already scarce water sources. Children and parents were in an especially vulnerable position and exposed to a variety of diseases.

Members of the World Vision Ethiopia team visited the area in June 2017 where they saw an immediate response was needed to save lives and improve the wellbeing of the community. Alex Whitney, the Integrated Programmes Director for World Vision Ethiopia said: “we witnessed the dire situation when we visited the village about six months ago. We saw the vulnerable children and families and the need for emergency response. With the support of partners and the community, we were able to respond and save lives”. World Vision was already operating in the area implementing WaSH and other projects, but the drought put more pressure on communities and the demand for water dramatically increased. Community member Alif Ibrahim said “almost all of our daily lives were consumed by searching for water wherever it was available. Even the small amount of water at the spring was shared with the donkeys and cattle, sometimes mixed with the cow dung and urine. Why my children are still alive drinking from that source is just God’s mercy”.

With funding from UNOCHA and sponsorship budgets, World Vision constructed 10 water points, including one at a primary school and a water connection through a pipe line extension to provide a safe water supply to another school. The project also provided two cattle troughs to provide livestock with a separate water source and a 100 m3 water reservoir to respond to the needs of the community. The humanitarian emergency response has enabled 13,737 people, of which 5,111 are children, to access clean water. Many community members celebrated the arrival of clean water in their village including Alif Ibrahim, a 30 year old a mother of two, and Fatima Ali, a 9 year old fourth grader and her friends who are pictured above.