A water sanitation project has brought clean water and greater security to the women of Ethiopia.
The project, run by a Christian Aid partner organisation in Ethiopia, EOC-DICAC, has given people in the towns and villages access to a clean water supply, food security and sanitary conditions.
In fact, it has increased access to water in the areas it works in from 3.8% to 70%, reaching more than 58,000 Ethiopians.
And for the women of Ethiopia, the project has even greater significance than that. The work of EOC-DICAC has resulted in a rapid decline in rape and abduction as fewer young women take risky long journeys to collect water.
High risk of rape
Traditionally, the women of rural Ethiopia have had the arduous and back-breaking task of walking up to 12 hours a day to fetch clean water. During these trips they are exposed to a high risk of rape and abduction.
Nunu Tesfaye, 40 - from one of the villages - says: ‘Most of the time it was younger girls collecting water who would be raped; they were afraid to go, but their family would force them.’
Abduction is also a major problem in Ethiopia. Men snatch young girls whilst they are vulnerable and alone travelling long distances. ‘The man will just take her,’ Nunu recalls.
‘Sometimes they believe they have a true love for the girl but he does not have sufficient money, so the only chance he has is to take her.’
Nunu is thankful for the extra safety for women in her community that EOC-DICAC has brought.
‘Now, because of this project, many sisters and mothers can stay at home and wash their children,’ she says.
‘In the name of the women in the area, to Christian Aid and EOC-DICAC, really, we thank you.’
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