For many people, access to water is a mere turn of the tap away; for Abdha Aso, a 20-year-old mother of five, it involves a four-hour round trip to a muddy pond. Only a year ago, she could reach a nearby stream in 20 minutes but it has since dried up.
The rains, which usually fall twice a year – between October and November and February and May – in the Borena zone in southern Ethiopia failed last year and this.
IRIN accompanied Abdha on one of her daily journeys. Read the full story
Ethiopian officials said they were concerned about the quality of water being consumed by the people in the pastoral areas and have provided village officials with water purification chemicals. But resources are limited and not all villages would have had access. During the peak of the drought the government deployed 210 water trucks in Oromiya.
But the escalating price of trucking water, rapidly shrinking water sources and poor roads have affected services, said the government in its Revised Humanitarian Requirements Document.
In the first half of 2011, about 50 cases of acute watery diarrhoea were reported in parts of Oromiya, according to the document. Concerns about a major outbreak because of inadequate supplies of safe water and poor hygiene remain.
Source: IRIN, 29 Jul 2011