Lesson 3 Water Management –
Gravity flow schemes-
Northern Ethiopia, especially the region of eastern Tigray, where Koraro is located, is notoriously dry. Yet local farmers continue to work the land. Irrigation is practically non-existent, as the capital costs for infrastructure far surpass farmers’ means. Water storage through small-scale ponds designed to capture rainwater runoff is becoming more commonplace. However, this source alleviates only short-term dry spells (weeks to months) and isn’t sufficient for dry seasons or drought conditions. The ponds also create ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of malaria transmission.1
Life without safe water
"The water is not good in this pond," says Zenebech Jemel from Chobare Meno. "There are worms and so many ugly things in it. All the animals drink from the pond as well as the community. We have no alternative. This pond water is so, so dirty and we cannot do anything about it. Because of the water we get different diseases. I have three children. They have respiratory problems, coughs and flu as well as diarrhoea and malaria. Sometimes we will go to the clinic, we either take the children or if they are too ill, we go and bring the medicine back for them. We might visit the clinic two to three times per month. We are hoping and praying for clean water."
A people's project
The Hitosa gravity scheme is seen as one of Water Aid's most successful projects in the country. It is part of the largest water supply project in Ethiopia constructed by more than 60,000 people in 31 communities, who now all have safe water close to their homes.
Haji Hamada from Ada Shaki village explained:
"I am excavating the trench with my community to get safe water. I have four children and we all have severe problems with water. We used to walk for two hours to the ponds or stream. Now we are very happy. I have been involved in collecting the money, and paid 45 birr (£4.50) towards the project. Each family...