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Friday, November 23, 2012

Water Changes Everything (Ethiopia)!

Through the trees ahead, I could see a row of bright, yellow jugs lined up waiting to be filled with water. 
These are the familiar yellow jugs that families use to carry water home to use for cooking and washing and drinking since none of the homes in this area have plumbing or running water.  As we approached, we were greeted by several families from the area served by the new water point.  A celebratory coffee ceremony got underway and a tray of popcorn was passed around.

Now that the deep water well has been drilled at Kind Hearts care-point and the water reservoir (cistern) is complete, two water points (access points) have been installed.  One is located on the grounds at Kind Hearts within easy access for the kids and the staff.  The other water point has been installed near a very poor neighborhood to provide easy, convenient access to clean water!!
The Children’s HopeChest team explained that this particular neighborhood of tin and mud constructed homes has over 2000 homes, each with an average of 8-10 people.  That’s 16-20,000 people who now have convenient access to pure clean water!!! 
Several village representatives who greeted us that day explained that prior to the water point, mothers and children spent hours each day walking 6 km one way and 6 km back to fill jugs with water to use at home.  With the installation of the Kind Hearts water point, these families now have convenient access to water within a few steps of home.  Acquiring water and carrying heavy water jugs is no longer a chore that takes all morning.  It has freed up children from this important task so they can attend school, and gives mothers the opportunity to accomplish other tasks or even take on work to provide additional income!
Water changes everything!  And we could clearly see that at Kind Hearts and at this nearby village with the new water point!! 
Of course there is still work to be done with the well … we still need to construct bathrooms and shower facilities at Kind Hearts so the kids and staff don’t have to continue using the dangerous and filthy hole-in-the-ground that serves as a toilet today – and showers so the kids can easily bathe and even wash clothes.  Eventually, another water point could be installed near the kitchen and eating area to make food preparation, clean-up and hand-washing even more convenient and accessible.
Our team of volunteers hikes from the schoolyard at Kind Hearts, to the site
where the well is bored.  Water is then pumped to a large cistern (reservoir) at
a higher elevation to provide water pressure at the water access points. 

Yifrut (with Children's HopeChest) and the director of Kind Hearts explains where the
two water access points are located.  One at Kind Hearts and one close to a local village.

Fresh, clean, cold and abundant water is now readily available for the kids at Kind Hearts
and for nearly 20,000 people in a local neighborhood!

Our team of volunteers at the village water point with the water jugs that will be
filled and carried home by each family.

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