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Water project helps Kadija overcome El Nino drought

Kadija, 18, has been hit hard by the El Niño-induced drought. This video shows how her business and personal life are recovering thanks to a water pump installed by Plan International.

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Eighteen-year-old Kadija owns a café in Lalibela, an Ethiopian town that has suffered greatly as a result of droughts caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

“I used to walk for 6 hours every day to fetch water. I’d carry 3 jerry cans of about 25 litres at a time,” says Kadija. “I did this each and every day. My business was failing because I needed clean water for the coffee, tea, cooking and cleaning.”

Water shortage

Since the pumps arrived near my village, it takes me 10 minutes to collect clean water

Walking so far to collect clean water each day put a strain on Kadija’s business and the relationship with her husband. She says: “I tried to think of clever ways to fetch the water in a short space of time. Sometimes I’d get a taxi costing about 20 birr (€0.80). My opening times were irregular because I had to collect water everyday so I could not afford this.”

On a good day Kadija’s business made 60 birr (€2.40), while on other days she made nothing at all. She says: “To risk spending 20 birr a day on a taxi was too much.”

However, Kadija’s business is now thriving following the installation of a water pump just 5 minutes from her home by Plan International Ethiopia.

Local business thrives

She says: “Since the water trucking and pumps have arrived near my village, it takes me 10 minutes to collect clean water. I can stay open every day.  I’ve already seen how my business has benefited and I am now making about 1,000 birr (€40) in net profit each month.”

As a result of this success, Kadija is now thinking of expanding her business.

She says: “With the local water supply here I can now plan on my next thing which is a local restaurant. We really look after each other in this community, so I’d like this to be a space where everyone can gather.”

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