Humanitarian crisis response: Water in Afar

Promoting development of pastoralists through building community resilience to disaster in Afar Regional State
Country: 
Ethiopia
Region: 
Dulecha and Argoba Special Woreda, Afar Regional State
Project Duration: 
01/08/2008 to 31/12/2012
Status: 
Completed
Donor(s): 
UNESCO Foundation, Siemens Foundation, HOPE'87
Project Description: 

In order to minimize the problems resulting from low water and sanitation coverage, HOPE’87, in cooperation with PADet (Professional Alliance for Development), implemented the “Water in Afar” project in Dulecha and Argoba special districts. The three basic components of the project were water supply, sanitation and hygiene education. Thus, the objective was to provide safe and clean water supply and sanitation services for the needy community through construction of water supply schemes and sanitation facilities. 2012 was the final year of the project implementation and by the end of the project period, the following project objectives were successfully implemented: 3 spring-catchments, 1 pond, 3 hand dug wells and 1 deep well were constructed; 1 urban water supply system was rehabilitated; 2 waste disposal pits and 2 VIP latrines were constructed.

Furthermore, software components, such as training for water management committees on the prevention of harmful traditional practices as well as the establishment and strengthening of mini media clubs for pupils, were introduced. These facilities are meant to help the community to understand the importance of the project and to support the ownership feeling of the beneficiaries. 

In the course of this project, 4 SkyJuice water purification units (WPU) have been installed by HOPE’87 and its local partner PADet at the projects’ sites whereas 5 such water purification units were donated to the Ethiopian Red Cross. 

Cross cutting issues: 

Poverty Alleviation, hazard risk reduction, environmental sustainability, gender equality

Project Background: 

As one of the least developed regions in the country, the water supply coverage in Afar was only 17 per cent. A considerable number of schemes were non-functional, which made the effective water supply coverage in the region less than 13 per cent. Sanitation coverage was even lower at less than 7 per cent. Those without access to safe water depend on surface water sources such as unprotected springs, ponds, streams and rivers which, in most cases are located at great distances from their households. Therefore, in many parts of the region, diseases related to deficiencies in water supply and sanitation are contributory causes of most infant deaths and account for a very large proportion of adult sickness. The poor, particularly women and children, suffer most from present deficiencies. They lack information on the effects of unsanitary conditions. Their access to safe water and excreta-disposal services is restricted, and they can afford neither to protect themselves from infection nor to cure it.