Ethiopia: ICRC ensures access to water, sanitation services for 500 IDPs in North Ethiopia

24 December 2020

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been working to ensure access to water and sanitation services for people displaced in northern Ethiopia as a result of the recent military action, through the installation of water tankers and water trucking.

The ICRC has installed two water tankers (fitted with pipes and fitters) at a site sheltering displaced people in Gondar City, Amhara region.

The 10,000-liter water tankers (donated by the ICRC and the North Gondar zone disaster and risk management office) with a capacity of 10,000 litres each are now supplying water to nearly 500 displaced people, according to Mulat Mengiste, Water and Habitat Engineer working for the ICRC.

The first IDP fetching water from a newly installed tanker, Gondar city, Amhara Region, December 2020.

The ICRC, in partnership with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS), also has distributed water to the vulnerable communities affected by the disruption of water supply in Mekelle city, Tigray region using tanker trucks.

With the intention of preventing communicable diseases that may surface as a result of dumping garbage in open fields, the ICRC has also built a solid waste pit in the site with a fence erected around it to prevent children and animals falling into it.

Mulat remarked, “the ICRC is working currently with local authorities to connect the two water tankers installed at the site with the city water supply lines so that the IDPs get access in a sustainable manner.”

Emergency toilets under construction, Gondar city, Amhara region, December 2020.

The ICRC, in partnership with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS), also has distributed water to the vulnerable communities affected by the disruption of water supply in Mekelle city, Tigray region using tanker trucks.

"An average of 60,000 litres of water is being supplied daily to about 4,000 people in the most vulnerable area of Mekelle,” Abdoule-Karim Diomande, Water and Habitat Coordinator with ICRC delegation in Ethiopia.

The ICRC and ERCS also facilitated the deployment of water office engineers who managed to maintain one of the water pumping stations of the town of Mekelle, enabling one part of the city to have access to water.

In Ethiopia, the ICRC works to improve access to water and sanitation services mainly for people affected by inter-communal clashes through the construction of new or maintenance or rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities.