PBS NewsHour, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, is presenting a series of reports about water problems around the world.
The first segment aired last night and featured Water 1st’s local Ethiopian partner, Water Action. Water Action’s founder (Meselech Seyoum) and Executive Director (Adane Kassa) spoke eloquently about the complexity of this issue. It’s clearly a public health issue, as water-related disease is a leading killer of children in poor countries, but the water and sanitation crisis is largely about gender inequalities. It the women and girls who spend their days working as beasts of burder collecting water. Girls cannot attend school, and their mothers cannot contribute to the income of the household.
Water Action is an indigenous, non-profit, non-political, non-religious and independent development organization specializing in the water and environmental sectors. It was established in May 1995 as a non-governmental organization by a group of Ethiopian professionals experienced in rural development and the water sector. In the past 15 years, Water Action has implemented a total of 70 integrated water supply, sanitation, hygiene promotion and natural resource conservation and development projects benefitting 948,000 people.
You can read more about Water Action and our Ethiopia program on our website.
You can also watch the PBS NewsHour segment here. Meet some of the people that make Water Action special and learn about their approach to build the capacity of communities to solve the water and sanitation crisis on their own.