Wasserbohrgerät im Einsatz in Äthiopien

Clean drinking water for Boni

Let the water flow!

As in many regions of Ethiopia, the latest Menschen für Menschen project region of Jeldu lacks access to clean drinking water. The situation is particularly dire in the districts where implementation of the first measures began in 2017: Here, only one in ten people has access to clean drinking water!

In order to provide families in the town of Boni and surrounding communities with clean, healthy water, construction of a water supply system began in early 2019. We have captured a few impressions:

Challenging mammoth project

Blick auf hügelige Landschaft in Äthiopien
The drilling rig can already be seen from afar. Before the actual drilling, a detailed survey was carried out by Ethiopian specialists. They examined the ground conditions to identify those locations best suited for drilling the well shaft.
Wasserbohrgerät im Einsatz in Äthiopien

March 2019: Deep drilling to the water reservoir.

Several sites were found suitable for drilling. The water obtained here will be pumped by generator to a hill about 2.5 kilometers away and stored in a reservoir. The natural water pressure is used to pipe the water to a total of 14 extraction points in Boni and the surrounding communities.
Hydrogeologe in Äthiopen vor Bohrgerät beschreibt einzelne Gesteinsschichten
Hydrogeologist Adugna explains the nature of the individual rock layers that are drilled through in Boni.
Behälter mit Sedimentproben in Äthiopien
Sediment samples were taken approximately every two meters to check for water occurrence.
Wasserbohrgerät im Einsatz in Äthiopien
"Let the water flow!" The experts already encountered water at a depth of 27 meters. For the best water pressure, of course, they had to drill even further.
Wasserbohrgerät im Einsatz in Äthiopien
At a depth of about 160 meters, a water reservoir with enough water pressure was finally found. "This is just excellent," says project manager Gebeyehu Seyoum happily, "because now we can quickly proceed with the construction of the water supply system."

January 2020: Construction of the water extraction points

The construction of the water supply system for the small town of Boni is a mammoth project that goes through many stages before it is completed. In Ethiopia, this kind of project is complicated by the fact that construction work is not possible during the rainy season.

However, when we visited the project again in January 2020, a lot had already happened: the first extraction points had been completed and the public showers were being built.

First, however, the extraction points have to be completed, the reservoir in the city has to be built and finally the connection between the water source, the reservoir 2.5 kilometers away and the extraction points has to be closed.
Männer in Äthiopien bauen Wasser Entnahmestellen
A total of 14 extraction points like this one are being built in Boni. "When everything is completed, each of these extraction points will supply around 270 people with clean drinking water," explains project manager Gebeyehu Seyoum.
Männer in Äthiopien graben Loch für Wasser Entnahmestelle
Work is in full swing in Boni to complete the extraction points and public showers, which will then be connected to the water reservoir in the city. The reservoir is fed from the water deposit 2.5 kilometers away, which was made usable by deep drilling.
Frau und Tocher in Äthiopien holen Wasser mit gelben Kanister aus dreckigem Rinnsal
Most people in Boni still rely on water from gutters like this one. People like Worki and her stepdaughter Teju have to laboriously skim the water from the surface so that at least the rough mud does not get into the water.
4 Männer und eine Frau stehen bei einer im Bau befindlichen Wasser Entnahmestelle
"I still can't believe it. Will we really have clean water soon? That would be a dream that finally comes true," says Worki, in in front of whose cottage one of the extraction points is being built. In conversation with construction manager Akale, she asks about the progress of the project.
Zwei Männer stehen in ausgehobener Grube in Äthiopien

10,000 cans of clean drinking water

To give us a concrete picture of the project's progress, Gebeyehu, project manager of the Jeldu region, and construction manager Akale accompany us to the excavation site, where the reservoir for the water supply system will be built: "The water reservoir will hold 200,000 liters and feed the community's extraction points and shower facilities. This is equivalent to about 10,000 of the water cans commonly used here," says Gebeyehu, explaining the capacity of the future lifeline of the Boni community.

Next step: pipelines

The next important step will be laying the pipelines that connect the individual components. Many people from the community will be involved in this task. Worki's husband Atomsa says, "When we heard that a project would be implemented here to bring us clean water, I was immediately excited. Of course, as a community, we will help to dig the pipeline trenches."
We will of course continue to report on the construction progress of the water supply system for Boni.
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