Water.org has empowered people in Ethiopia with safe water since 2004. In 2015, Water.org launched WaterCredit programs in partnership with financial institutions across the country. We found that the small, affordable loans known as WaterCredit made available by our partners are a strong solution for millions of families here. Because 71% of Ethiopia’s total population live on less than $3.10 a day, we found that families are willing and able to finance their own safe water and sanitation solutions rather than live without simply because they cannot afford the costs all at once.
Across the country people are paying large portions of their daily income for water. Whether they are purchasing water from vendors or buying it from neighbors, this takes away from giving their families more in life. Likewise, when women and children have no choice but to walk hours to distant sources to collect water, they haven’t the time to work or go to school. These costly, temporary solutions keep families trapped in a cycle of poverty.
This is where Water.org comes in. Not only do we recognize the potential of millions of Ethiopians to define their own solutions. We also stand ready to help families define the best solution for where they live. Solutions vary across the country depending on the geography, climate, and availability of sources.
For instance in rural Ethiopia, families are using small, affordable loans to purchase rain storage tanks. These large barrels store enough water for many months to follow a solid rainy season. The water can be used for bathing, laundry, watering a garden, and boiled for consumption.
In regions where families own less property and dwell in urban environments, a municipal water line is usually available. Rather than purchasing rain barrels, families use their small, affordable loans to connect a water tap in their home to the local water infrastructure in place.
Fueled by affordable finance, the solution Water.org brings to families in Ethiopia saves them time and money. From Tigray to Sodo, across Ethiopia small, affordable loans are the solution bringing Ethiopian homes access to safe water and sanitation.