With support from the SMEC Foundation and the family of the late Alastair McKendrick, a former long serving SMEC Director and Group CFO, who passed away in September 2018, drinking water wells are being constructed in four remote villages in the Somali Region, Ethiopia. These wells will provide 11,000 community members with all year access to safe drinking water.
This project faces unique challenges due to arid agro-climatic conditions, erratic and unreliable rainfall, and poor hydro-geologic conditions. Drought is common in the dry season, with flooding occurring in the wet season. The area is extremely remote (1300km from Addis Ababa, the nearest major center) and only accessible via unpaved roads, making transportation of materials and equipment difficult.
A community-based approach is being implemented, with locals actively participating in the planning, management and monitoring of the construction project. A Water User Committee (WUC) will be established in each village and trained in how to sustain the water resource.