Ethiopia: Drought hit areas to benefit from new potable water schemes

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Addis Ababa February 24/2016 Areas severely affected by the current drought will benefit from new potable water projects, according to water and irrigation bureaus of Amhara, Oromia and Somali states.

The bureaus are teaming up to install potable water facilities in the affected areas.

Head of water, irrigation and energy bureau of Oromia, Engineer Werd Hashim said half of the 18 zones of the state are exposed to drought.

The official said over 200 million birr has been earmarked for water projects planned in 44 districts with acute shortage of drinking water. Project performance has now reached over 75 per cent, he added.

Siti zone in the state of Somali is the most drought affected zone in the state, according to the state’s water development bureau head furtuna Abdi.

Over the past six months, more than one thousand residents of the zone benefited from potable water projects through the state’s vilagization program, the bureau head said.

Construction of deep water wells is underway through the vilagization program to supply people affected by the drought with adequate water.

Similar efforts are also underway in the state of Amhara where the state government is engaged in the drilling of underground water sites.

Yimer Habte, the state’s water, irrigation and energy bureau deputy head said over 60 million birr has been put aside for the project. More than 40 water wells have already been dug, he added.

Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Motuma Makasa for his part mentioned government efforts of supplying potable water to over ten million citizens exposed to the drought.

Alongside the supply of food aid, feasibility studies are in progress to launch big irrigation and potable water projects to reliably address the problem, according to Motuma.