Especially women and children benefit from safe fountains nearby
arche noVa/Thomas Rommel

Ethiopia: Preventing hunger and malnutrition with safe water sources


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For more than ten years Ethiopia’s economy has been growing about 8 to 10% on average. Some large-scale infrastructure projects were also funded from abroad and thus created the country’s reputation to be one of the most promising candidates of becoming a newly industrializing country. On the other hand more than 80% of the population subsist on agriculture, a third is affected by poverty and an tenth is considered malnourished. This is why arche noVa strives to improve the living conditions of the rural population.
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Too much and too little water

The frightening feeling of insecurity whether the stock will last until the next harvest is very familiar to the people in the districts of Wuchale and Jidda, about 100km north to the capital Addis Abeba. The project area of arche noVa is regularly affected by droughts. On the other hand, short but torrential rainfalls during the rainy season cause floods and crop shortfall. This alternation of too much and too little becomes an existential problem for the peasant families very easily. They already have troubles to harvest enough to fulfill their own needs and constantly need to readapt to the difficult conditions. Many lack knowledge about appropriate farming methods, causes of soil erosion or drought tolerant plants. On the contrary, the monocultures which became very common during the last years are especially frail.

Women and children particularly affected

Little water means long walks. Every day women and children have to carry the urgently needed water for their families across a distance of many kilometers. They spend countless hours on this task which prevents them from getting a good education or complicates income opportunities.

Despite the available amount of water its quality also proves problematic: more than 90% of the population get their water from unsafe sources like rivers and stagnant waters. Open water sources like these are especially prone to different contaminations. If humans drink this water they often contract diseases like diarrhea, typhoid or intestinal parasites.

Water to drink, water to live

In this project arche noVa implements a multitude of activities which help the local inhabitants of 23 villages to provide themselves with safe drinking water and achieve bountiful harvests on a long-term basis. These measures are connected to a project which we implemented in the same region together with our Ethiopian partner organization SUNARMA in 2013.

The goal is to considerably shorten the time the inhabitants need do obtain water and enable them to eat at least two times a day.

Hence 15 fountains up to 40 meters deep into the ground are built to provide safe drinking water. To water the agricultural land SUNARMA and arche noVa also install a canal system which is partly run by a pumps which are easy to maintain. The water supply for the cattle is secured by building dew ponds.

Continue to strengthen women’s households

The evaluation of the preceding project showed that especially women benefited from the activities. They play a more active role in their communities but it is still important to keep supporting them in this process. Therefore a special focus in our new project is on households led by women and particularly vulnerable groups. Together with SUNARMA and the village inhabitants these groups are identified through moderated discussions at the beginning of the project.

Measures which especially benefit women are e.g. the construction of washbasins in close proximity to the fountains. Due to these basins the distance the women have to cover to do their laundry is shortened. Additionally we build latrines which improve the sanitary situation for all sexes. This is particularly true for women because by relieving themselves in the open due to the lack of toilets they seriously put themselves at risk.

Another vital aspect of the project are the numerous exercises and trainings about various topics, starting at the preparation for the maintenance of the newly built facilities and hygiene trainings up to workshops in the fields of agriculture and irrigation.

Donate for this project

one concrete pipe for irrigation system
seeds for 13 peasant families
1 day hygiene promotion

Project Overview

Target Group
About 16,500 people in the districts of Wuchale and Jidda, Ethiopia
Improved access to safe water supply and food security in 23 villages in the districts of Wochale and Jidda in the Oromia region, Ethiopia
  • Construction on 15 fountains
  • Construction of 4 public latrines
  • Construction of 2 wash basins
  • Installation of 4 pumps for irrigation
  • Construction of 4 spring catchments and canal systems to irrigate the fields
  • Construction of 4 dew ponds
  • Distribution of tool kits and seeds
  • Capacity Building (trainings about farming methods, hygiene trainings, trainings about the maintenance of the facilities, networking meetings)
Since January 2017
Co-operation partners

Sustainable Natural Resources Management Association (SUNARMA)

  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Private donors
Portrait Christian Franz mit roter Pumpe
Christian Franz
Fundraising Officer
+49 351 481984-15
christian.franz [at]