Rose Ayeku lives in a rural village in Ethiopia where children frequently died from diarrhoea until the Red Cross helped provide a safe source of water.
Kume village in northern Ethiopia is home to around 300 people. Before the Ethiopian Red Cross began its water and sanitation project in 2010, the villagers had to rely on water which came from unprotected natural sources, which were often stagnant and dirty.
Rose used to spend several hours a day collecting the water. “There were only three unsafe sources of water for the whole village,” Rose says. “I always had to queue and there wasn’t always enough water available.”
Improving water sources
As a result of using water from these unsafe sources Rose’s four children would often get sick with intestinal worms, diarrhoea and skin diseases. Twelve years ago she nearly lost her third child, due to diarrhoea. Rose’s child survived, but for many of her neighbours it has been a different story and thousands of children die as a result of diarrhoea each year.
Rose says: “Since the Red Cross built the well in our village, water is easily available. The well is only five minutes walk from my home. Now I don’t have to spend so much time fetching water, I can use the time to be more productive.
“Also, my daughter is no longer distracted from going to school since we are able to collect the water quickly and easily. And the best thing is my family’s health has improved.”
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