The Well in Action (TWA), a non-profitmaking local Organization, has launched a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project that will be implemented in Shalla Woreda with the aim to benefit 39,000 households, 8 schools, and 6 health care facilities in five Kebeles. The project requires a total budget of 75 million Eth. Birr. Some amount of financial support has already been obtained from Woord en Daad, and that will be used to start the project. The project will implement diverse, but integrated activities, which include drilling of a deep borehole; construction of reservoirs, distribution lines, and water points; training and awareness creation on hygiene and sanitation; and water supply system strengthening and institutional capacity building. The project will be implemented during the next three years from January 2020 to December 2022 in partnership with Siraro-Adje Water Supply Service Enterprise and in collaboration primarily with Oromia Water, Energy and Mineral Resources Development Bureau.
As an initial step in the process of launching the project, TWA has organized a local support mobilization event at Shashamane town. Participants in the event came from various sectors and presences, which included representatives of target communities, elders and key individuals, leaders of religious institutions, individuals in the private sector, Woreda level government Offices, Zonal Administration and Sector Offices, and Regional Bureaus.
The purpose of this event was to mobilize the support and participation of individuals, community organizations, local government bodies, and communities, where the support was anticipated to involve contribution of goods, materials, finance, labor, and etc. Mobilization of local support and resource is a key strategy of TWA in all its development activities. It is TWA’s belief that such supports and resource contribution benefit its development projects in that contributing their time and resources, citizens, institutions, private actors, and others can achieve and assume sense of ownership, which comes from the pride and accomplishment of knowing that they have done their share to make their community a better place to live, and mobilizing local resources increases the sustainability of community initiatives.
At the event, Mr. Girma Tsige, the Executive Director of TWA, presented about the situation of water problem in the target area, and about the design and expected results of the project. Mr. Fikadu Tine, the General Manager of Siraro-Adje Water Supply Service Enterprise, too described the engineering and related technical designs of the project. Another speaker, Mr. Bikila, from DEC, presented about the rationale and necessity of local resource mobilization and contribution in development actions.
Following the motivating and inspiring presentations, participants took the time to reflect their reflections and feelings about the problem and the project. They also made big promises to support the project. For instance, Mr. Negash, who was engaged investment business in Tigray Region, and who by mere chance heard about the event from Mr. Girma and decided to be present, gave 50,000 Birr to the project. Mr. Girma too promised to support the project by giving 10,000 Birr. Hadji Hussen Mohammad, an elder from the local community gave an ox, and promised that he will do his best to mobilize members of his community to make financial, labor, and material contributions for the project. Similarly, other participants entered the commitment to give supports, including Shalla Woreda Administration Office, which gave 200,000 Birr, and individuals who committed at least their one-month salaries and their skilled labor. In total, more than 300,000 Birr was obtained at the event.
The event was concluded by forming a Resource Mobilization Committee of 12 members. The committee members include Deputy Head of West Arsi Zone Administration, representatives of Shalla Woreda Water Office, elders, and representatives of the target communities. Speaking on behalf of the Committee, the Deputy Head of West Arsi Zone Administration promised to exert the fullest possible effort to mobilize every form of support and contribution needed for the project, and assured the audience that the Committee will organize a telethon that will take place between February 19 and 29.
TWA, in collaboration with Water, Energy and Mineral Resource Development Bureau of Oromia Region, will organize similar event in Addis Ababa before the end of January addressing participants that have Region-wide and nationwide presence in the country.