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Water needs desperate in Ethiopia

By November 8, 2011

Ethiopia (MNN) — Famine continues in the Horn of Africa. While food is important, so is water — since that's what caused the famine in the first place. This situation is desperate.

Executive Director of Lifewater International Joe Harbison is in Ethiopia. "For three years in a row their rainy season has failed. They have no water. And those rains have only recently come back."

According to Harbison, water is their expertise. "Lifewater is pretty much focused on water. We're looking at wash water, sanitation, and hygiene. And we find that we're pretty much a perfect fit for our partner here because of the situation of water. They either have too much or too little, it seems."

Lifewater is working through Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Service Commission. Harbison says, "We're finding that water actually gives us a tremendous avenue of entry point into communities that would otherwise never have access to the Gospel."

According to Harbison, Lifewater sends teams to work through local partners to begin the training process. "We actually have everyday people from around North America who come and are trained by us; they actually come overseas and train trainers to do that and multiply that gift into hundreds of communities. That way we have a multiplying effect."

They also teach good health through good water sanitation and hygiene practices.

Lifewater also installs wells. It costs about $3,000 to put a good well in an area.

While it has rained in recent days, Harbison says that doesn't instantly bring back their livestock. "It still takes months for a calf to be born and to be producing milk and for there to be food for the family, so this isn't an instant recovery."

In the meantime, Harbison is asking you to pray for their work in and around Ethiopia.

If you'd like to help Lifewater, click here.

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