Problem Addressed

The communities which APDA works with are chronically short of water in the long dry season and vulnerable to the effects of drought including malnutrition.

Innovative Approach

APDA lives with, works with, and is directly a part of the community it serves. Instead of focusing on drilling for water as the single solution, APDA works with the community to find creative, demand-driven ways to ensure safe water access and local ownership.

Program Solution

Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) improves access to water by constructing sub-surface cisterns to store both rainwater and trucked water, and introduces water purification chemicals addresses the problem of water contamination. Constructing ponds also provides necessary water for animals, though this is supplemented by a ration of animal feed for 3 months during times of drought to keep goats in the poorest households alive.

Community members are trained in water purification, hygiene and sanitation as well as in the construction and maintenance of the water reservoirs to ensure community ownerhip and sustainability. Community committees are comprised of religious and clan leaders, women and youth who are motivated and capable to lead the community on these issues. The end outcome is that the community is less vulnerable to the effects of drought and more capable to find their own solutions for drinking water as well as water for the herd in a managed way.