BIRIKAT Story

ROTARY makes a real difference
In the region of Afar in the remote desert of Ethiopia water is a precious commodity. This Ethiopian Village has seen dramatic changes since Rotary became involved. Each day would start with a daily trek of 6 kilometres each way for the women of the community who spent most of the day helping to make sure their families had enough water needed for cooking, drinking and washing.

Now, with the help of a group of Rotary clubs in Adelaide, they have their own permanent source of wa­ter – a BIRIKAT right in their village. The men of the communities dig into the rocky, parched ground to create a covered, below ground storage tank to store the run-off water from the sparse rainfall to gain a secure water supply. The underground storage is a “Birikat” which can hold up to 220 cubic meters of water for community use. This simple water collection and storage system has changed the lives of these proud but remote desert dwelling people, with much improved sanitation and health.

For the first time, many women and children of the village now have the time to undertake training and personal development activities to enhance their personal and family lives. Classes in health and well being through to establishing micro enterprises have sprung up in the communities, promising a future for the next generations.
Thank you John Banfield and Graham Fussen from D9500 for permission to repost.