12. Water for 4 million Ethiopians

“I am managing the water supply point but my main responsibility is to ensure equal distribution of water and that all village residents get enough water,” explains Yelibe Yibelu, a well keeper from Ethiopia. His village built a well with the support provided as part of the Finnish water management programme. Yelibe’s family no longer suffers from stomach diseases – thanks to clean water, a home toilet and a hand-washing place.

In Ethiopia, Finland has developed a model for water programmes that ensures sustainable results. Ethiopia provides at least 50 per cent of the funding and local communities provide the necessary nest egg. When the money is there, the village residents apply for support for building their own water supply point or toilet and assume responsibility for their construction and maintenance. Since 1994, nearly 18 000 water supply points have been built and 840 000 households have been equipped with proper toilets. About 4.2 million rural residents benefit from both amenities.

Photo: Benti Ejeta, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta

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