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Water supply project benefits more than 17,000 in Ethiopia

The water supply project has increased school enrollment, decreased water-borne diseases, and has had a huge positive impact on Lalibela’s tourism industry. Photo courtesy of Plan staff.
The water supply project has increased school enrollment, decreased water-borne diseases, and has had a huge positive impact on Lalibela’s tourism industry.

Photo courtesy of Plan staff.
May 25, 2010

A new water supply project now provides clean, safe drinking water to the Ethiopian town of Lalibela. The project, which benefits more than 17,000 residents, was implemented by Plan with the coordination of the Amhara Regional State Water Resource and Development Bureau.

The town of Lalibela is located in the northern region of Ethiopia. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s few tourist destinations, famous for its rock-hewn churches and as a center of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians.

Prior to the construction of the water project, water was rationed to the community of Lalibela, where each household was getting tap water once every 6-8 days. The shortage of clean, safe water posed a wide range of health and economic problems amongst the communities.

 

Improving lives in Lalibela

With the construction of the new water supply system, over 13,000 people from Lalibela, and 4,000 from surrounding rural communities now have regular access to clean, safe water.

The water supply project has improved the health of the children and families in these communities, reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases, and has increased children and girls’ enrollment in school. The project has also had huge positive impact on Lalibela’s tourism industry; the town can now provide safe drinking water to the thousands of people who visit each year.

 

Extension projects

Based on the success of the Lalibela project, many similar projects have been initiated by surrounding communities. Six rural village communities located around Lalibela have requested access for an improved water supply system through a pipeline extension from Lalibela. Construction in 4 villages is already underway.

A total of 3,431 people will be benefit from these extension projects.