Drilling for Change in Ethiopia

Entrepreneur Tigist Teshome is one of few women in her field, and she is empowering communities by providing clean water access all across Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries in the world. In recent decades, terrible droughts and famines have endangered the livelihoods of thousands of individuals in their agriculturally based economy. This is a major contributing factor to the widespread, devastating poverty many Ethiopians are experiencing today.

Most Ethiopians live in rural areas, and many of these communities are familial. In isolated areas, extended families will live in groupings of thatched huts. Often the children will call one another "brother" and "sister" rather than "cousin," and adults are often referred to as "mother" and "father."

Seventy-four percent of the population lives in rural societies that occupy rugged highlands, forests, and plains, frequently outside the reach of clean water access. This statistic makes Ethiopia one of the least-reached areas in the world. Its lack of infrastructure makes the situation doubly difficult because many rural settlements do not have roads, and rough terrain makes it difficult for drilling operations to travel through.

Community empowerment

Tigist Teshome lives in one of these areas. She was born in Harewach'a, a town several hours east of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Her village did not have access to potable water. All they had was an unprotected pond that put village members at constant risk for illnesses and disease. Not only was this their sole water source, but it was also an hour's walk away—a task that fell on the women and girls of the community.

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Free CT Women Newsletter
Activism; Business; Community; Outreach; Poverty; Service
Today's Christian Woman, September/October , 2013
Posted August 30, 2013

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