Water tank reservoir at Lelt's Girls' Home
In the First World, we rarely think about the ease in which water is available to us for drinking, bathing, cooking, and watering our lawns. In Kara Kore, Ehiopia, they think about water all the time. Entire neighborhoods are often completely deprived, the water for the community is turned off for days at a time so it can be diverted to the more affluent sections of Addis Ababa. Kara Kore families are then forced to use dirty water from stagnant puddles or ponds-- breeding grounds for flies, mosquitoes and disease.
When there is no water at Lelt’s Community Center in Kara Kore, our staff must go looking for it. Jugs of water can be purchased from areas that still have flowing water; Lelt’s staff often acquires our daily supply this way. This dance of chasing and purchasing water can sometimes take the entire day.
Lelt employee Abdi Teressa brings purchased water to the Community Center
Zufan Tadesse is a cook at Lelt’s Community Center. When water is shut off, cooking for 145 children every day is nearly impossible. She says they must wake before daybreak to go to the next village to buy water. Then they transport the heavy jugs across far distances, back to the Community Center. “On days without water”, she says, “we struggle to get back to the Community Center in time to make lunch for the children. Often, we are afraid we will not get back in time.”
On the hillside of Kara Kore, the city water pipes are a work in progress, not even yet laid. Lelt’s Girls’ Home is on the hillside, so Lelt buys water from a merchant and puts it into a tank reservoir. Mekiya Ahmed is the House Auntie at the Girls’ Home, whose daily duties include keeping the children clean. She says, “The people in our community get water once a week. We use a car or a donkey to move it from the lower village. When our reserves low, I must take the children to Lelt’s Community Center for a shower.” That, of course, is if the Community Center itself has water.
Zufan Tadesse carries water to Lelt's kitchen after a three day shortage