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Ras ZeSilas School, Ethiopia

Our Communications Officer in Ethiopia, Behailu Shiferaw, returns to Ras ZeSilas where the construction of a new waterpoint has transformed life at the school.

The last time Behailu visited Ras ZeSilas School, he had some great news  ̶  the waterpoint the children had been waiting for had arrived.

Previously, only one tap had been available for over 1,800 students, and lots of children had developed the eye disease trachoma as a result of the lack of safe, clean water and hygiene facilities.

A big leap

Tariku Tekle, a biology teacher and founder of the school’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Club, is delighted with the transformation since the new waterpoint was built.

“It’s a big leap. Now there are 12 taps, students can wash themselves easily after physical education sessions. Cases of trachoma, which was a major problem, have been reduced too. There has been a huge improvement in the health and wellbeing of the students since the opening of the new waterpoint.”

Tariku Tekle, an Ethiopian man smiles against a grey backdrop.
Tariku Tekle, a biology teacher and founder of Ras ZeSilas' WASH Club.
Photo: WaterAid/Behailu Shiferaw

The school’s WASH club will also help ensure that students benefit from the waterpoint for a long time. “The main aims of the club are to teach students why they need to wash properly and to make sure they use the new waterpoint responsibly,” says Tariku.

An important step for girls

In her role as Minister of Girls Affairs at the school’s parliament, Hareg Teklu is an influential figure at Ras ZeSilas and a champion for girls’ issues. “I believe the importance of water is huge for girls," she says.

"If a girl leaves school every time she has her period, she will miss out on her education. Now all this will change.”

Two Ethiopian girls smile for the camera.
Hareg Teklu, left, and her friend Dagmawit Tariku both hope the new waterpoint will improve life for girls at school.
Photo: WaterAid/Behailu Shiferaw

By choosing to support WaterAid’s work through the Schools Linking Project, you will be helping more teachers and pupils like those at Ras ZeSilas. Your kindness makes all the difference in the world – thank you.