Ethiopia
Capital:
Addis Ababa
Population:
105 million
Area:
1,104,300
km2

So far, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia has been minimal. But with over 60 million people in the country lacking clean water close to home, that could soon change.

Without clean water, people cannot wash their hands and protect themselves against the spread of coronavirus. WaterAid Ethiopia are working with the Ministry of Health to coordinate an emergency response. Keep up to date via the WaterAid East Africa Twitter and our global hub page:

Our global response to COVID-19

Water, toilets and hygiene in Ethiopia

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 practise 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 six in ten of the country’s 105 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.

people don't have clean water.

That's almost 61.95 million people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

Just one in ten people do.

children under 5 die each year from diarrhoea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

Reaching rural Ethiopia

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.

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WaterAid/Caroline Irby

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