The community in drought stricken Serdo was devastated to learn the water from their newly bored well was so heavily contaminated with fluoride and salt that it had to be sealed. All hope of the end of a persistent struggle to find safe water was gone.
Until, that is, USAID, CARE Ethiopia, Puretec Israel and DuPont Water Solutions joined forces to build a solution that would sustain the community for decades. Sixteen reverse osmosis (RO) elements were donated by DuPont to provide clean, cool water to some 2,000 citizens.
Commissioned in October 2019, the Serdo water scheme is now providing 5,000 liters per hour of safe water, stopping the need for lengthy walks to fetch it or truck delivery into the town. The solution is being kept sustainable through the technical training of regional water managers and community-based operators and technicians.
President of the Afar regional state, His Excellency Awol Arba stated, “This project will enable the community to focus on other aspects of life,” in the inauguration in October 2019, in which he and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor, turned on the tap. The Ambassador underlined the importance of the project to “…alleviate a serious situation where this community simply did not have access to reliable and safe drinking water.”
Serdo again has hope, with water shortages no longer distracting from other aspects of life. With hope comes opportunity and prosperity. The project serves as a role model for reviving hope across the state of Arfa which has approximately 40 other capped boreholes that were drilled only to be found similarly unfit for direct use.