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  • Tsion Syoum

Phase 1 Completed

In the summer of 2014, my family and I went to visit relatives in Eritrea. Eritrea is a new nation that won its independence from Ethiopia two decades ago. It is located in the horn of Africa bordered by the Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red sea.  For a while now, scarce water supply has been an ongoing issue in Eritrea. Before that summer, I never understood the extent in which water, a basic human necessity, could be scarce and precious in other countries and places. However, my trip to Eritrea especially to the villages in the countryside made me realize the value and role of water in life and as it has been told, water is life. Staying there for two months, my family and I got the chance to visit rural villages in Eritrea, traveling to the outskirts of its capital, Asmara, where most of the area is dry and arid. This picture is imprinted in my mind, and each time I remember those moments my heart would sink.  That picture was such a contrast to the way I use water in my everyday life and the amount of water that I use and waste not only for necessities but also the luxury of swimming in it. It never occurred to me that these kids don’t even have a small amount of water that is enough to quench their thirst. At the time, all I had was an opened bottle of smart water to offer them but how long would it last? An hour? A few minutes?  The thought of this made me cringe and as I handed them my bottle of water a wash of guilt swept over me. As the children walked away overjoyed and thankful of us for the kindness we had shown, all I could think about on the way back was, water. I felt guilty of the fact that I was provided with the luxury of wasting water,  reminded me of the times when I would leave the shower water running until the water gets hotter or not paying any heed to the amount of unused water running while I brush my teeth or washing the dishes. However, for these children and their families, even a droplet of water is precious. It is at that moment that I started to think of ways I can help and contribute my share of assistance to the community and those children to have access to clean water. This is my story, a story that changed my view towards the use and distribution of water that got me all geared up to launch this  Water Project.   My last trip to Eritrea, gave me the chance to figure out a place where the most help is needed. Through the help of the Water Development  and Supply Division from the Ministry of Water, Land and Environment, I had found the school in a small village of  Sheka Wedi Bisrat, that needs the most help. As I was inspecting the water well in the village, students of the school were out for their lunch break and were running to have a sip of water from the pump well.  The students have to clatter around the pump well to have a sip of water  and carry some water home.  That moment I realized how scarce their water sources was and how they have to support not only themselves but also their families from the water from  the well pump. Only one well was supporting the whole elementary school including three nearby villages. The water well couldn’t supply the demand of water of the students and their families. A second well pump would alleviate some of the problems that are caused by shortage of water supply.  Consulting the Water Development  and Supply Division from the Ministry of Water, Land and Environment, I found out that an estimate of $25,000  would be needed to set up a well pump in the village. My goal is to raise the above-mentioned estimated cost for the construction of the well pump and hope for a long lasting well for the school.


GOAL COMPLETED


The goal was achieved in the winter of 2015, and the smile on the faces of the inhabitants of Geza’gebo and the children from the Elementary School of Sheka Wedi Besrat was the icing on the cake. It was a journey that inspired me to research more and plan ahead to do and open such other projects. You can do it too. 

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© 2016 by Tsion Yohannes Syoum. 

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