A Safer Walk to Clean Water Source: Deka’s Story

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Deka Hassan Edin, 15, lives in Halo-luko, a village in MoyaleWoreda of Dawa zone in Somali region, Ethiopia. Like many women and girls in her village, Deka fetches water from a hand dug well that Save the Children rehabilitated in October 2018 through its Emergency Response Mechanism in Ethiopia (ERM) project.The hand dug well was out of order for quite some time, and that led to constant and acute water shortage in the area with residents using water from the unsafe and unclean Harbora pond some eight kilometers away from Deka’s village.

“I walked long distances with girls in my village to fetch water from Harbora pond. It was also unsafe to go there because the pond is found inside another region where ethnic conflicts sometimes break out.  Some people humiliated and belittled us on our way to the pond, and boys threatened to rape us if we ever went to collect water from there,” Deka recollected. She was not only worried about her life while traveling distances to fetch water from the pond, but she also remembers how “filthy” the water was because “the animals and people shared the water which made us sick often times.”

Deka fetching water from a hand dug well

In December 2018, Save the Children rehabilitated ahand dug well fitted with a hand pump in Ararsame Kebele of Moyale Woreda which is only 2 kilometers away from Klo-luko, Deka’s village. Now, the residents of this Kebele are the main users of the water from this Save the Children rehabilitated well.

“Life is currently better and I don’t have to travel long to fetch water. Save the Children enabled us to access clean and safe water from Ararsame hand dug well that they rehabilitated for us,” Deka said. She also underlined that the Save the Children rehabilitated water source “relieved me and girls in my village from fear of abuse and bullying by the boys” who always threatened them while walking to Harbora pond to fetch water. From the new source that Deka’s village access nearby, “I fetch around 160 liters of clean and safe water for our family to use for a period of three days. Now, I don’t have to fetch water every day,” Deka explained.

Save the Children’s Emergency WASH and Protection response for conflict-affected IDP children and their families in Moyale, Hudet and Mubarek woredas of Dawa Zone, Somali region is funded by the EU humanitarian aid through IRC. The project reached 49,404 beneficiaries through providing water trucking services and WASH kits to 47,303 beneficiaries and protection services through strengthened community-based protection mechanisms and prevention and remedial interventions for 2,101 individuals (children and families). Through our support, IDPs and host communities have been able to use clean and safe water as per the standard during emergencies and they have improved their hygiene and sanitation practices.