Arba Minch University’s Community Service Directorate has added another feather in its cap by restoring previous collapsed water supply system and installing new one at Ochollo village for the welfare of 560 households. ‘Dega Ochollo Drinking Water Supply Project’ had begun in July 2018 that got completed and was formally inaugurated on 27th June, 2020; the project incurred around ETB 1 Million that was facilitated by AMU.  Click here to see the pictures

This 2-year-long project came into being upon urgent request of Ochollo community administrator as 3-decade-old rusty water supply system that was installed by Catholic Missionary in 1978 got collapsed due to prolonged usage and people had to drink non-potable water that caused water-borne diseases; hence, forthwith AMU took the cognizance of this issue, Community Service Directorate Director, Dr Teklu Wegayehu, informed.

The above mentioned project was designed by professionals of Water Technology Institute from Water Supply & Environmental Engineering Department, Mr Dawit Shiferaw and Mr Yegelilaw Eyesus that restored the collapsed system by installing 5 kilometer-long pipelines from the original source. It has also repaired 5 existing concretized water points with 2 faucets and 5 new points with 2 faucets along with 7 points with single faucet were duly commissioned.

Mr Dawit Shiferaw informed that the newly installed system daily dispenses around 13,000 liters of water for 560 households. We have also installed two water reservoirs of 10,000 liters capacity each for people. Now Ochollo is linked with Woreda and Zonal Water Supply and Energy Department that enables people to obtain individual water connection on payment. And moreover, the quality of water confirms to the World Health Organization standard, he said.

This newly installed system was inaugurated on 27th June, 2020, in the presence of Dr Damtew Darza, Dr Simon Shibru, Dr Abdella Kemal, Mrs Tarikua Woldemedhin, other AMU officials, Arba Minch Zuria Woreda and Gamo Zone officials, Ochollo administrative officials, village elders, community members and different stakeholders.

This noble gesture has greatly impacted the community and it has boosted the reputation of university in the society, he stressed. But frequent changing of administrative officials of village and region, dilatory purchase and procurement process and even when new pipelines were laid some unknown persons snapped it had posed great challenges to us, nevertheless, we could manage to complete it, he quipped.

Expressing his satisfaction, Dr Teklu, said, similar project was successfully done at Weze Kebele and Ochollo is our current achievement. Such kind of people-centric initiatives have increased our visibility following which zonal and regional administrations have begun to approach us with specific requests. And hopefully, in future, we may begin a new assignment of installing altogether new water supply system at Shama Kebele in Chencha Zuria Woreda for which process is underway.

Reflecting on future scenario, Dr Teklu, said, since, we have started focusing on community engagement, we will convince community and stakeholders to positively contribute in such endeavors in whichever way they can that will make our ongoing philanthropic ventures more participatory and inclusive.

Finally, sounding caution, he said, we know that water is precious, but its blatant wastage by rash people makes situation quite worse. And, we often notice people don’t voluntarily close the running tap left open by careless individuals and water continues to go down the drain. You know unattended defective system also causes huge loss of water. Therefore, in future, we would like to strongly sensitize community on this aspect, for unless people behave sensibly, repercussion will be incredible, he affirmed.

The above project was closely supervised by the project expert, Mr Alemu Abera and the coordinator, Mr Defaru Debebe of Development Works Coordination Office, one of the units to Community Service Directorate.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)