60 to 70 percent of the common diseases in Ethiopia—diarrhea, typhoid, cholera and dysentery—are waterborne, picked up when someone drinks from a contaminated water source. All of these diseases carry a high mortality rate, especially for children.
The diseases spread because 65 percent of Amhara’s population get water for cooking from the same sources where people bathe. They draw water for drinking from the same place animals foul the water with their wastes.
And even if a water source is pure, it often becomes contaminated before it’s consumed due to a lack of proper sanitation and hygiene.
Without safe, uncontaminated water for consumption, it’s difficult for the people of Amhara to even imagine financial stability—and virtually impossible for them to live healthy, self-fulfilled lives.
That’s why one of the first steps in our strategy to end poverty in Amhara is to provide access to safe, uncontaminated water to people in the rural areas. Then, in order to keep safe water sources clean and pure, ORDA makes certain all communities receiving safe water schemes are also educated in hygiene and sanitation practices through our capacity building program.