Mr. Uka Golicha made his way across the open field toward the well, being visited by the IAS Ethiopia drilling team. The IAS crew was preparing to equip the newly drilled well with its final pumping mechanism. For Uka, the new IAS well was something of a miracle. In this Oromia/Borena region of Ethiopia, some 700 kilometers south of the capital Addis Ababa and on the Ethiopian/Kenyan border, clean, fresh drinking water was difficult, if not almost impossible, to find – until now.
Uka Golicha greets the IAS team in the Oromia/Borena region of Ethiopia and thanks them for his community’s new well
Today, those in Uka’s village travel an average of four hours round trip in order to obtain water – water which is still not suitable for drinking. As Uka explained the significance of the newly drilled well in his community, his thankfulness was evident.
Leaving Uka, the IAS well drillers and their vehicle snaked their way out of the bush back to the main road. Along the way, villager after villager stopped the crew to thank them for their work, and to tell them of other communities in the region also in desperate need of clean water. The mission never ends.
In a country where the average citizen earns approximately 1,100 Birr a month (the equivalent of $60), towns like Idilola that rely heavily on agriculture for their daily sustenance are in even more of a desperate situation. It is not just the basic necessities lacking in this area, such as clean water, electricity, sanitation, and roads. The lack of water also means the loss of their livelihoods.
“HE RAISES THE POOR FROM THE DUST
AND LIFTS THE NEEDY FROM THE ASH HEAP;
He seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor…“
1 SAMUEL 2:8 NIV
- The recently drilled IAS well in Oromia/ Borena, protected and awaiting the instillation of the pumping mechanism
Recognizing this incredible need, IAS is embarking on a holistic approach to transform the Oromia/Borena region. In addition to providing clean, safe water, IAS also hopes to implement a microfinance program in the town of Idilola and for many in the surrounding communities.
Job creation for the women of Idilola, as well as methods that would help farmers in the region improve crop yield, are but a few of the ideas IAS is considering to engage Oromia/Borena in a manner that will go beyond providing the basics and will literally transform lives.
But the mission never ends. As this one small region in southern Ethiopia finally begins to experience life-altering change, countless communities throughout the country await their opportunity as well. And as they wait, IAS drilling teams, social service officers, and staff members are working harder than ever to bring the hope of empowerment to Ethiopia.
For men like Uka Golicha who have known great hardship, this new IAS well represents a dream of a better tomorrow for his family and community. And saving lives and transforming communities like Uka’s is the goal of IAS. One well, and one small microfinance job at a time.
“Why does this well always have water?” “Because IAS digs deeper than the others.” Last month I had the pleasure of attending a set of meetings in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of the meetings was to outline IAS’ global strategy for the coming four years. In attendance were people from 12 countries including: South Sudan, [...] Read story
Andy Warhol once said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” I’ve found that sentiment to hold true in my life. Certainly there have been times when twists and turns took me by surprise or God’s providence opened a door that I didn’t see in front of me. [...] Read story