Kanafa water projject

Kanafa water project in Ethiopia

Kanafa St. Francis parish is located in the southwest part of Sodo town, which is 385 km away from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.

Even though the OFS and YouFra are not established on a national level in Ethiopia, local OFS fraternity of Kanafa is strongly organized and dedicated to follow the Franciscan charism with a spiritual assistance of the Capuchin Province. Secular Franciscans and Franciscan Youth are actively involved in various pastoral activities such as teaching religious education classes for children, visiting the sick and the elderly, counselling for HIV/AIDS and volunteering at hospitals.

For many rural families of Kanafa village, access to safe potable water services was limited and most households were forced to obtain water from an unprotected river and ponds. Inadequate water supply, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene made the population, especially children under five, extremely vulnerable to diseases (diarrhoea, typhoid, intestinal parasites, etc). During the dry period when seasonal rivers and ponds dry up, people of Kanafa had to travel long distances (10–15 km) to fetch water, often of poor quality. This distance considerably reduced the amount of water that could be transported and consumed at a household (4–6 litres per day per person for all uses). For women, the time spent to fetch water was estimated between 20 to 30 days per year. The main goal of Kanafa water project was to provide access to safe potable water for daily consumption (including hand and body washing, laundry) and improve sanitation and health for 1,000 people (200 households).

Kanafa water project included the drilling of a 65-meter deep well, construction of a standard hand pump and fencing of the water point for hygienic reasons (protecting from animals, etc.). Local community actively participated in fencing the site (each household provided trees and nails) and making a road to the water point, which was completely inaccessible for vehicles before. At the initiative of the local community, the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) committee was established, the functions of which include actively promoting hygiene and sanitation, mobilization of community for the construction and protection of water supply and establishing rules for appropriate use of water, particularly when water is scarce.

More than a thousand people are now benefiting from Kanafa water project, and thanks to the availability of pure drinking water, improvements are already seen in the villagers’ living conditions who are no longer forced to walk long distances to fetch contaminated and undrinkable water. The maintenance of the borehole is under the responsibility of Capuchin Province of Mary Kidane Mihrate, Kanafa OFS local fraternity and Kanafa St. Francis parish.

The works were implemented by Ashenafi Fikire General Contractor from July to August 2022. The amount donated to the project was EUR 19,098.63. Although due to higher costs of raw materials in Ethiopia the project’s budget exceeded ordinary prices of other boreholes, “Well4Africa” was able to make a gift of this indispensable element for life to the inhabitants of Kanafa thanks to generous donors.