World Water Day: ‘Today I Feel As I am Born Anew’

Ethiopia water

A young girl gathers water at a water point installed by CRS’ partner, the Hararghe Catholic Secretariat, in Lege Dini, Ethiopia. More than 1,000 local villagers now have access to safe water for drinking, cleaning and watering cattle. Photo by David Snyder for CRS

In the village of Chelenkolola in the East Hararghe region of Ethiopia at a recent inauguration of the water project, 80-year-old village resident Meyimuna Ahmed had this to say:

“My ancestors have lived in this area for centuries, suffering from the lack of clean water and sanitation facilities. I have suffered, too, for the last 80 years. But today I feel as I am born anew. I have seen a pipeline full of water in front of my door that has now freed my children from the back-breaking pain of fetching water — and our donkeys, too!

“I would like to thank you all for the humanity and solidarity you have shown, especially the Catholics, in order to brighten the future of my children. They will no longer get sick from drinking unsafe water. I hope the generous hand that reached us will reach many of our people who are still suffering from lack of access to clean water and sanitation. It is only Allah to pay you back, not us.”

As Meyimuna finished her speech to the applause of her fellow villagers, she approached each of the officials who were present at the inauguration. After shaking hands with the group, she leaned in and whispered,

“I will bring the good news to my late husband when I join him. He won’t believe what has happened to our village!”

CRS Ethiopia and its local partner, the Hararghe Catholic Secretariat (HCS), continue to be one of the leading forces in bringing clean water to the residents of arid eastern Ethiopia. The project mentioned here was completed by HCS with funding from CRS. Through the generosity of many people in the United States, CRS is bringing clean water and sanitation facilities to hundreds of villages across East Africa.

Reported by Lane Bunkers, CRS country representative for Ethiopia.

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