Forty years ago, a small group of families established the community of Mazoria in Ethiopia, so they could begin a new life after a military uprising.

At the time, people said the land was so fertile you could drop a seed and it would sprout before you had time to pick it up again.

But as word of Mazoria’s fertile land spread, more and more people arrived – putting extra pressure on water supplies.

As a result, many villagers became sick from drinking dirty water, but they had no other choice.

61-year-old Sinore, Mazoria, Ethiopia.
61-year-old Sinore, Mazoria, Ethiopia.

“We settled away from the shores of the lake, so we still had to walk two to three hours to collect water,” says 61-year-old Sinore, one of the first people to arrive in Mazoria.

“The only alternative is a spring near the village that floods whenever it rains and has been polluted by cattle or wild animals.”

Working together for a better future

With the support of The Body Shop, we’re working with our local partner and the community to transform life in Mazoria.

We’re installing eight new water fountains, which will provide safe, clean water close by – including an accessible water point for children and people with disabilities.

In the long term, we’re supporting the community to set up a Water Users Association, so they can maintain their new water points.

We’re also training two caretakers – and providing them with a full set of plumbing tools – and ensuring two other community members are able to look after the generator that powers the motorised pump, which pushes water towards the new fountains.

A story to tell

Sinore’s daughter-in-law, Gedamnesh, is seven months pregnant with her second child, and hopes the arrival of safe water will secure a healthier, happier future for her family.

Jegnasew, Hiyawan and Gedamnesh. Mazoria, Ethiopia.
Gedamnesh, right, with her husband Jegnasew and daughter Hiyawan.

“I don’t know if I’m having a girl or a boy, but they’re going to be one lucky child,” says Gedamnesh.

“When she or he grows up, I will tell them we got clean water just around the time they were born. It will be a story to tell.”

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