Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stories from Ganda Boya, Part Three: Menuit's Story

Menuit is lucky, relatively. Unlike most of the people in Ganda Boya and the surrounding communities, she has managed to get a job at Haramaya University’s ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) Center. Even with such a privileged position, she still struggles with the lack of access to water in Ganda Boya: she told me that she gets water from the university’s single house tap located at the wall separating the village from the university once every three days or so.

On other days, she goes to the lake to collect water just like everyone else. Her support network allows her to both collect water sometimes and work most days of the week, but her situation is extremely rare.

Menuit also complained that the tap water they drink from the university has made her and baby sick twice already – two times too many. Such illnesses were no minor matter for the two; they both were hospitalized in the university clinic.

Menuit at the only water tap in Ganda Boya,
waiting for it to turn on.
Menuit’s story represents a rare break in the refrain of hardship that I heard from the other villagers, but she still clearly faces the same challenges as everyone else. First, even with a support network, the time it takes to get water may at some point impact her job if her family is unable to pitch in. Second, no amount of work in Ganda Boya makes the existing water resources clean, and her family’s medical record shows it. Water insecurity is water insecurity whether you work or not, no matter how you cut it.

Worse still, the tap where I met Menuit was the one where she had been waiting for over an hour to capture just a part of the trickle from the university tap. When I left her, the tap, is if on cue, came on, and I watched around 150 people scramble and shove their way to getting a jerrycan under the drips of life-sustaining resource.

We’re here to change all of this. Even Menuit is unfortunate in her relative fortune, and Concordia Humana’s solar-powered well will give round-the-clock access to clean drinking water right in the heart of Ganda Boya, where villagers can spend almost no time accessing its plenty. Together, we can make it happen.

Menuit’s Story is the third part of a four part series on stories directly from Concordia Humana’s PowerUp Ethiopia pilot village, Ganda Boya. For more updates, visit this blog at, follow us on Twitter (@PowerUpEthiopia), and Like us on Facebook (

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