The hard work pays off
8 February 2015

When the community of Kuranza, Ethiopia learnt that, at long last, they had an opportunity to access safe, clean water, they committed every ounce of their energy to making it happen – even when that meant battling against the odds.

Finding clean water in Kuranza has never been easy. Until recently, the village’s nearest water source was an unclean river, which frequently made people ill.

Now the community has installed a handpump, clean water will be just a few minutes’ walk from everyone’s homes.

Watch the celebrations as safe water arrives in Kuranza:

A painstaking process

Working with WaterAid and our partner EOC-DICAC, the community in Kuranza pulled out all the stops to access a reliable water source, painstakingly chiselling their way into the ground.

“When we passed five metres, we struck water. It was such a joyous moment because the community had worked really hard,” says Tigabu Libseqerq, a water, sanitation and hygiene promoter with EOC-DICAC.

Before the new waterpoint was opened, disaster struck; a fire broke out in the village, threatening the community’s harvest and the haystacks they use to feed their cattle.

“We opened up the waterpoint early and stopped the fire before it went out of control,” Habtam Ayelign, a priest from Kuranza, explains. “There was so much at stake.”

Habtam Ayelign, a priest from Kuranza, Ethiopia.
Habtam Ayelign.

A chance to learn

Thanks to you, the new waterpoint hasn’t just saved the community’s livelihoods – it’s also given them the chance of a happier, healthier future.

15-year-old Alemnesh has been held back from her education because of responsibilities at home. Education is free in Ethiopia, but like many others she works on her family’s farm and spends hours every day collecting water.

Alemnesh Yigsaw, Kuranza, Ethiopia.
15-year-old Alemnesh.

Now the new waterpoint has arrived, she hopes she will be able to return to school and follow her dreams.

“Maybe it will take five minutes to collect water now. Would it even take that long? I don’t know, it’s right here,” she says.

Children celebrate the arrival of water in Medhanealem.Discover more Big Days >
There's a special reason to celebrate in Medhanealem, Ethiopia as clean water arrives for the very first time.