KUME VILLAGE, Ethiopia – Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in the world and it is due to several issues that continue to be ignored. Its per capita GDP is $471, placing it with the top ten poorest nations in the world. Since Ethiopia’s economy is based on its agriculture, there should be improvements in this field yet less that 7 % of its cultivated land is under irrigation. There is also a lack of pesticides and fertilizers in use, which means that crop yield levels are often low or varied. All of these issues culminate to lower Ethiopia’s economic potential.
Health issues abound in this nation as well. Malnutrition and infectious diseases due to lack of water, also places a hold on the economic development of the country. In 2012, The Red Cross released an article about a family in Kume village that finally acquired access to a clean source of water. Now months later, this family no longer faces illnesses due to parasites or risks their safety by having to walk miles for water. The Ethiopian Red Cross continues to allocate sources of water to destitute families throughout rural Ethiopian villages. By providing an adequate water supply they increase the standard of living for an entire community. Improving water quality always leads to better health and the main results are as follows:
1. Disappearance of stomach illnesses
A direct result from a clean water source is the disappearance of intestinal worms or parasites and bacteria that infect the digestive tract. Often times two or more can cause stomach infections at the same time. Symptoms often include fever, coughing, diarrhea, weight loss and dizziness.
2. Better skin health
Infected water affects the skin of all those who drink it. Water that has been contaminated with larvae, microbes, or eggs of parasites, can lead to uneven skin color, skin irritation and rashes. With a clean water source there is better health that can even be noted by the skin health of the family.
3. Stable income
Poor families in rural villages lose most of their income when a family member acquires a waterborne disease. They waste the little amount they earn on treatment often times selling portions of their land or farm animals. With a clean water supply, the households income becomes stable with no external costs for medical treatment.
– Maybelline Martez
Sources: UNICEF, Feed the Future, CDC
Photo: Red Cross