When Tigrayans say “water is life” they really mean it. That is because Tigray is one of the driest parts of Ethiopia. Rainfall is mostly mono-modal, sporadic and sparse, averaging about 300-500 mm each year. With such conditions, water shortages are common and generally worsening in the face of environmental degradation and frequent drought.
Living with constant water stress is clearly debilitating. The gradual disappearance and pollution of traditional sources of water such as rivers, streams and springs, means women and girls are spending more and more time walking to fetch water and less time on development opportunities such as education and income generation. Poor hygiene and sanitation due to lack of water in most communities have resulted in a high infant mortality rate as well as widespread suffering from water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, intestinal parasites, and dysentery.
While many investments have been made to improve water supply in Tigray, much more still needs to be done. As one of the leaders in water provision in Ethiopia, REST offers a range of technology options from hand dug wells and springs, to boreholes and roof rainwater harvesting schemes and we construct water points in a wide array of settings.