Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nearing the finish line

Co-founders Danny Sexton (left) and Peter Beaucage (right) at
the reservoir site for the Ganda Boya water supply project.
Danny and I just spent a week on the ground in Ethiopia meeting with contractors, community leaders, and partners as well as visiting the sites for the well, storage tank, and distribution points.   In brief, our partners at Haramaya University have retained local contractors for construction of the 3km pipeline from the well site to the community's high school and construction of the reservoir at the high school.  We have finalized the specifications for our well and are in the process of getting proposals from contractors for performing the work.  Thanks to the efforts our donors and volunteers around the world over the past few years, the project is finally taking off.

Solar-powered well at the Qerensa Dereba Primary School about
45 minutes from Ganda Boya.  The well has allowed local children
to spend more time in school and less time gathering water.  The
construction and installation of this well was supported by the Cincinnati
Rotary Club and the University of Cincinnati.
One of the most impactful parts of the visit, however, had little to do with our project.  We had the opportunity to visit a recently completed well sponsored by the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Rotary Club, and were able to talk with some local primary school students about the impacts of the well on their community.  One student told us about how he would be continuing on to university in the next year.  Countless others spoke of how grateful they were for the water and how it had allowed them to attend school and work at home rather than walking miles to fetch water.  It's one thing to talk about how having a local source of clean water impacts communities, but seeing the impacts firsthand is breathtaking.

Families fetch water from a hand pump near the borehole site.
The families will need to carry these 5-gallon cans of water
about 1.5 miles to their homes.
We also had the opportunity to meet with community leaders and others in the village of Ganda Boya and hear, again, how much of an impact the lack of water has on their lives.
With all that said, we're currently at a critical junction in our project.  If we can reach our $25,000 goal by September 31, we can proceed to signing contracts in the next two months and have the project substantially completed by this time next year.  However, as of today, we're about $3,500 short.

So, I'm excited to announce that everyone who donates $5 or more during August or September will be entered into a drawing to win a 250g (1/2 pound) bag of Tomoca coffee, freshly roasted in coffee's very own homeland of Ethiopia.

Girl carrying a small container of water along the road.

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