Water is Life Ethiopia’s Response
Ethiopia ranks fifth poorest in the world according to the University of Oxford Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) according to the 2018 report https://ophi.org.uk/multidimensional-poverty-index/global-mpi-2018/
The MPI takes into account education, health and standard of living. Standard of living includes access to electricity, improved sanitation, and safe drinking water; type of flooring for the household, type of cooking fuel, and household assets like mobile phone, radio and car.
1. Enable community formation among the most vulnerable: The cry of the most vulnerable and oppressed is heard by forming Sustainable Living Teams (SLTs). These self-organized and self-led teams provide the context and framework needed to encourage and enable long-term commitments for strong individual, household and community health and growth.
2. Restore dignity: SLTs develop human potential through the power of choice to learn new disciplines and practices that change attitudes and perspectives for a more hopeful direction in life.
3. Create opportunity: SLTs break bad habits of dependency and despondency with new income generating and community service opportunities. Enthusiasm and self-esteem is created when incomes increase to cover basic needs like food, shelter, sanitation and education.
4. Promote Learning: SLTs creates an environment for intrinsic learning once basic survival needs are met. Training is provided in small business creation and management, but also in others areas of interest such as the following:
a. WaSH training- Training for improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) practices is provided at regular meetings of the SLTs. A consistent audience over time allows trainings to be delivered effectively with follow up to ensure better practices are adopted.
b. Disaster Risk Management- Ethiopia is prone to disasters like drought and famine that cycle through with weather patterns like El Nino. The most vulnerable communities are on the brink of devastation with any failure of rain. Having a reliable groundwater supply will help them endure the worst of times. There is opportunity to increase resiliency to drought among the most vulnerable by using affordable agricultural and water management practices such as mulching and irrigation.