Hope is flowing in Torgoso, Ethiopia

In May 2013, Clarissa Poulson’s day job with an international development consultancy took her to East Africa.

While in Africa, Clarissa, a HOPE International Development Agency UK Trustee, visited some of the clean water initiatives funded by UK donors, including one in the small community of Torgoso in southern Ethiopia’s Bonke District. 

Prior to our involvement, the families of Torgoso gathered their drinking water from an unprotected water spring located above a steep slope that leads out of the village. The water, clean when it came up out of the ground, became contaminated as it pooled around the spring, creating a boggy area teeming with parasites and bacteria. 

The support of generous HOPE International Development Agency UK donors enabled the families of Torgoso to transform their boggy spring into a reliable and abundant source of clean water. Firstly, families participated in the construction of a “spring cap” that protects the water. Pipes then move the water from the “cap” to the storage reservoir. From there, more pipes carry the water, using gravity, to four easy-to-access water points (taps) throughout the village. 

In addition to having clean water to drink, families are now able to grow an abundance of nutritious food and cash crops like banana, sugar cane, and coffee, by using a portion of the water to irrigate their gardens and fields. 

“It was wonderful seeing clean water gushing out of the taps and realising what a life changing resource this is for a village – to drink, to wash, to prepare food. I was also impressed by the sense of pride and ownership amongst the community, and the work they had put in to make it a reality,” says Clarissa.

Time, formerly spent gathering water, is now spent on improving the community’s quality of life through initiatives focused on good hygiene and sanitation. 

The community has a new sense of pride and ownership in the water system they helped complete in November 2012.  They now look toward the future with hope.