An incredible moment

This is a big day in Mojo. A day when the danger of drinking water becomes a thing of the past.

Thanks to the amazing generosity of WaterAid supporters, we were able to help the community build a handpump in their village. A handpump that will not only bring clean water but health, education, livelihoods and happiness.

See the incredible moment when the water flows in Mojo for the very first time.

The community celebrated the arrival of the handpump by putting their money together for a sheep and preparing a joyful feast of meat stew and home-grown coffee.

The devastating consequences of dirty water

Buried in the jungle, far from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Mojo village was long overlooked when it came to water services. The community there, mostly farmers, had no choice but to collect dirty water from an unprotected spring.

People were often ill as a result, but in 2000 this had devastating consequences. A waterborne plague killed 20 men, women and children. Those who survived spent all their money on treatment, and still no one showed up to help them.

A new chapter

But now things are different. It’s a brand new day for everyone according to Mulu Tolossa, 65, a grandmother of five. “It’s a lucky generation," she told us. "The generation of my children and my grandchildren are lucky to get clean water so close and easily. I am happy for them.”

Chaltu, 13, won’t miss having to collect water from the old dirty source. “Some days, I had to spend the whole morning waiting in line until everyone before me got their jerry cans filled," she says. "By the time I got back home, it would have already been past school time. The teachers would punish me. But now that is going to be history.”

Children using a newly dug well
Children enjoy clean water for the first time in their lives.
Credit: WaterAid/ Behailu Shiferaw           

Just the beginning

Sirata Mekuria, a father of six, is the chairperson of the water committee set up to maintain the new waterpoint. He will help ensure the community has safe, clean water to drink not just today, but every day.

And clean water is just the beginning. Now Mulu will be able to watch her grandchildren grow up healthy. Chaltu will be able to go to school. And Sirata will be able to grow coffee and injera (a traditional flatbread).

Every day will be a big day from now on…