Feature: Chinese firm helps with water needs of drought-prone Ethiopians

Source:Xinhua 2018-11-08

  ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Mustafa Oshe, a resident of Goleba Qulito village in Adami Tulu Judo Kombolcha locality in central Ethiopia's Oromia regional state, has been dreaming to get clean water for himself, wife and his three children for years.

  His dream came true on Thursday when Chinese heavy machinery manufacturer -- Xuzhou Construction machinery Group, inaugurated 41 water cellars it financed for the community, which are expected to serve hundreds of local villagers.

  Speaking to Xinhua, Oshe said he had to cope with the double threats of insufficient amount of water and danger of water borne diseases in the semi-arid village for years, but now he can make a sigh of relief.

  "In the past, we got water from the river, it is contaminated with Giardia parasites and when our people drank the water, many of them used to have diarrhea, but with the clean water project now it is good for the health of our community. We appreciate the project as it will be a good example in promoting healthiness," said Oshe.

  Oshe's relief was echoed by Debele Feyisa, head of Planning and Economic Development Office at Adami Tulu Judo Kombolcha locality, who said residents had to depend on unreliable and dangerous water sources for their drinking and other needs.

  "Many residents use the area's groundwater which is dangerous to health as it has too much fluoride," Feyisa told Xinhua.

  "This locality has a minimum of 600 households, most travel a minimum of five kilometers to fetch ground water, and this project partially solves this problem," he further said.

  Gao Zhiqiang, Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group's Ethiopia Country Manager, on his part said the water cellar projects will enhance the resilience of local communities to face natural disasters.

  "The program helps build 41 water cellars for drought affected communities and schools, tackling the challenge of safe, potable water faced by hundreds of villagers and students, and boosting their ability to resist natural disasters," he said.

  Gao pledged the water cellar project will be expanded to other parts of Ethiopia and called upon other companies to join in the project.

  "The water project can be promoted to other places, we are hoping more companies can join in such projects like we did, with joint efforts we can build even more water cellars and settle the shortage of safe, potable water," he said.

  The Chinese company has previously inaugurated a water cellar project in Amhara regional state, located in northern Ethiopia, in a place that like Adami Tulu Judo Kombolcha locality is facing the double danger of water shortage and polluted water sources.

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