Ethiopia: Project to provide clean water in remote region

News and Press Release
Originally published
ADDIS ABABA, 11 February (IRIN) - The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has handed over a drilling rig in the remote Benishangul-Gamuz region to boost child health by improving access to clean water in one of the most water-scarce parts of Ethiopia.
The rig -- which was handed over to the regional government - is capable of drilling 80 shallow wells a year and is designed to provide clean, safe water for villagers.

UNICEF's Ethiopia representative David Bassiouni said that access to clean water was a vital for improving the lives of impoverished families.

"Access to clean water has an impact not only on the water and sanitation of local villages but also improves the quality of health and nutrition in the region as a whole," he noted.

Bassiouni also said that access to clean water boosts school attendance by children who normally have to travel in search of water for their family.

Benishangul-Gamuz has one of the lowest water supply coverage rates in the country, at just 30 percent. The drill will boost water supply by eight percent a year.

The rig can drill shallow wells around 40 to 60 metres deep and each well takes around three to four days to drill.

The Norwegian Government donated the rig and equipment, valued at around US $588,000, to UNICEF as part of a programme to deliver basic services to local districts.


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