Less than half of Ethiopia’s population has access to an adequate water supply, and only 21% have access to modern sanitation methods. We are working to change that. Club member Jo Elizabeth Butler spends four months a year in Ethiopia working with the Melka Oba Elementary School and surrounding community to help them resolve their water challenges.
Our club has collaborated with the CAD Engineering High School students who, under the supervision of their teacher, Phil Arnold, are developing a technology that could bring clean water to Melka Oba school and its community of 4,000. The team was named one of 15 national finalists in the Lemelson-MIT invention contest and awarded 9,000 dollars to further its research.
While in Ethiopia in 2017, Jo, together with local water specialists, identified the building of a pipeline to a local river as the most viable solution to the community’s water challenges. Over the last two years, she has spearheaded several fundraising efforts together with our international committee. Thus far, almost $30,000 have been raised for this project. The club is set to apply for a Rotary global grant in 2018 and is partnering with the Rotary Entoto club in Ethiopia on the ground.
Once the water challenges are met, we hope to help establish an organic farm to provide abundant, nutritious food for the Melka Oba school community and the surrounding area.