Addis Ababa
99 million

How would you get clean water to the poorest and hardest to reach people? Put the systems in place for toilets to change lives day after day, year after year? Make sure people can practice good hygiene when climate change brings disaster?

These are some of the challenges we face in Ethiopia, a dry country vulnerable to climate change. Almost four in ten of the country’s 99 million people don’t have clean water. A child dies every hour from the resulting diseases.

Ethiopia has made impressive progress over the past 20 years. It achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the number of people without clean water. And the number of people defecating in the open dropped from nine in ten in 1990 to less than three in ten in 2015.

We will build on our strong reputation in Ethiopia to reach everyone with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Together with the Government, businesses and you, we will make a bigger difference. A lasting difference.

don't have clean water close to home.

That's 59.8 million people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

Just one in ten people do.

children under 5 die each year from diarrhea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

Reaching rural Ethiopia

Image: Behailu Shiferaw
We drank whatever was available to us – rivers, streams, rain, floods – anything that was accessible and came in the form of water, we used. It made us sick though.
Ferenji Amenji, 81

Ferenji's village is small, home to fewer than 200 people. Here, drinking dirty water was a normal part of life. “We didn’t get to pick and choose what water we drank,” he explains. “People got sick all the time.”

We helped bring clean water to Ferenji’s village using a 400-metre pipe from a clean spring on a hill. A concrete top protects it from animals and floods. It ensures that the water piped down to the centre of the village remains clean.

81-year-old Ferenji is thrilled about the water supply. He says, “I will die knowing my children will have water in their village.”


13 years of clean water

What can you remember about 2004? For Mehari, it was the year clean water first arrived in his village. Catch up with him, 13 years after that life-changing moment.

Priest Mehari stands by the front of his church in 2004, the year clean water arrived in his village in Northern Ethiopia.
Image: WaterAid/Caroline Irby

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