By Samson Tesfaye Woldetensaie, 2020-21 assistant governor for District 9212, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In my club, Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Central-Mella, we are currently working on a water project to develop and build wells in 24 rural communities in southern Ethiopia. The evidence and data that we gathered have helped us identify the community’s needs and helped us determine the best way to address them.
This project aims to improve the quality of life of the residents who lack access to clean water and the daily routines once clean water is near and accessible. These communities often have to walk long distances to reach a water source that is often dirty and carries water-borne diseases.
Neil Van Dine, a member of the E-Club of WASH in District 9980 (New Zealand), spent 15 years on projects to bring wells and hand pumps to communities in Haiti, struggling to keep them operational. In 2004, he commissioned a survey that revealed half of the wells weren’t functioning. Previous efforts to provide maintenance weren’t holding up. So Van Dine and his team reassessed and came up with a new plan: His Rotary club trained the community to develop a business plan that involved the whole community. The plan involves collecting a small amount of money from each household that is earmarked toward maintenance and repairs of the wells. Now, 90 percent of the wells they have built are operational.
While today is World Water Day, Rotarians will continue solving problems around the world with their expertise. Learn more about Rotary International’s initiative to provide clean water and how Rotarians like Van Dine are mobilizing resources around water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Villagers in Vanni Pallugollewa, Sri Lanka, welcome the visiting Rotary members.
By Katie Conlon, PhD student at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, USA
Winding along the bumpy backroads of Sri Lanka and through intermittent rice fields and jungle, our group took hours of navigation skills to find the last village. But as we turned a corner, we got a first glimpse of the village’s welcoming committee, a 50-deep motorcycle “motorcade” assembled to escort us to the Nawa Teldeniya Water Project. Continue reading
Albert Essien, left, visits the stream that is a source of water for the village.
By Albert Essien, Rotary Club of Tema Meridian, Ghana
Fante Mayera is a medium-size rural community of about 800 people in the greater Accra region of Ghana. In August, I visited the community with the manager of the Rotary-USAID partnership in Ghana and other officials to meet with villagers and check on the progress of a borehole and latrine. I had been part of an initial visit with my Rotary club in 2016 to assess conditions there, and it was exciting to return and see the difference this important collaboration is making. Continue reading
Ako Odotei, chair of the Ghana Host Committee of the RI-USAID collaboration, greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.
By Theophilus Mensah
In early October, Rotary Foundation Chair Paul Netzel was on hand to open the West Africa Project Fair in Accra, Ghana, where Rotary and USAID are partnering to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene in six regions of the country.
The project fair, as the name suggests, involves Rotary clubs across the West Africa sub-region, and is in its 12th year. It serves as an excellent forum for local clubs to show off their projects and establish partnerships with international clubs to secure the financial and technical support needed to implement projects in the region. Continue reading
By Neyeram Kukula, Rotary Club of Accra-West, Ghana
On 18 May, I joined fellow Rotary members, the project manager for the Rotary-USAID partnership in Ghana, and an engineer from Global Communities, the implementing partner, in visiting sites in the Shai Osu Doku district two hours northeast of the capital of Accra. We visited three schools where the partnership is working to improve water and sanitation facilities and change personal hygiene habits. Continue reading
A woman stands in front of her toilet block in Sogav, India.
By Atul Bhide, immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Thane Hills, India
Less than 80 kilometers (49.6 miles) from the urban centers of Mumbai and Thane, India, lies the village of Sogav in Shahapur Taluka. Here, like in many villages in India, women and girls face the daily indignity of having to walk miles in the early hours to find a safe and discreet place to relieve themselves.
A simple bodily need that many of us take for granted exposes these women and children to hygiene and safety risks every day. It is a difficult situation under normal circumstances, but when these women experience any kind of sickness or health concern, their experience becomes appalling. Continue reading