Project Waterfall: Jabi Tehnan

Project Overview:

We are proud to have taken part in the initiative by WaterAid to raise funds for the Jabi Tehnan Project in Ethiopia.


Ethiopia is Africa's top producer of coffee and the historical home of "Arabica" coffee, with 15 million people relying on coffee production for their livelihood.

Ethiopia is also one of the poorest countries in the world where 62 million people lack access to clean water and diseases caused by drinking dirty water are the leading cause of death for children under 5 years old.

This project has brought clean drinking water and sanitation to some of the most affected communities in the coffee growing Jabi Tehnan district of Ethiopia,

The Jabi Tehnan Project:

Jabi Tehnan Woreda is a coffee growing district in the Amhara region of Ethiopia with one of the lowest levels of clean water, sanitation and hygiene practices in the area. Only 67% of the population have access to water and 50% have access to sanitation.

Climate change has deteriorated the WASH coverage in the area, affecting both the water quality and quantity.

Working in partnership with the local government, our partners WaterAid have rebuilt the existing multi-village water system and constructed and additional system, to increase capacity. Using their local expertise and experience, they have ensured that both systems give sustainable and long-term water provision.

Through this project, 10,571 people have gained access to clean drinking water and 10,662 have gained access to better sanitation & hygiene, improving their health and life chances.

Project Highlights:

Improved access to safe water supply for 10,571 people.

Two water supply systems have been constructed and handed over the community, one of which also supplies water to two local schools. The community were involved in the construction work to ensure the system's sustainability,

Increased access to sanitation for 10,662 people.

Training was provided to Health Extension workers and other community leaders. Two public toilet blocks, shower blocks and a water kiosk to provide water and sanitary materials were built.

Opportunities for women and girls.

An inclusive sanitation block has been constructed at the local High School for 311 female students. The block has a shower, resting area, hand washing facilities and a small garden, 1,470 packs of sanitary pads were alse distributed to 631 female students.

Life before the project:

Kikeb Tilaye, 40, lives with her husband and six children. She speaks about water scarcity in the region.

Before the WaterAid project

Unfortunately, we don’t have tap water near our house. We need to walk for about 20 minutes to get wate. We fetch water from a spring called Enqurqur. I am the one who fetches water most of the time. Whenever my daughters Shitu and Tadela don’t have school, they help me. Otherwise, I don’t want them to miss school because of collecting water.

Since the water is not clean, my children get sick. The youngest one, Hulugeta, especially has stomach aches most of the time. We know it is because of the water, but we can’t do anything about it.

Coffee is the main source of our family’s income. Water is very important for coffee plantation. If the coffee plant doesn’t get water, it dries up. Our neighbourhood has a traditional irrigation system to water our coffee plants. However, we are only allowed to get the water once a month and only for two hours. That is not enough for the coffee...Water is very scarce in our area. So we always wait for the rain, since it’s the only means by which our farm gets enough water.

Life after project completion:

Bizuayehu Anteneh is a 45 year old mother of five. She tells what an impact accessible clean water has had on her and her family.

Clean water pouring

Currently, I collect tap water near our house. It only takes me five minutes to do so. In addition, the water is clean and available whenever we want it. For my household, we need 8 jerrycans of water per day and now we can get that. My daughters can now be at school on time and focus on their education as we are living a healthy life. I can wash their clothes as frequently as needed now. I am also helping my husband with some of the farm work as I have enough time to do that.

I am living a happy life! With the water that is installed near our house, I can now use my time effectively, look after my family’s hygiene and be energetic. This is what I was looking for and I am more than happy because I witness this.

I am a member of the women’s development association. We make sure the water taps are working properly and are safely managed. We teach our children to stay away from the taps and keep the cattle away as the same time. We are very lucky to have this facility in our village and we will keep it safe as much as we can.

Ayelu Sinke is a mother of four and grows coffee in her backyard. She constructed a toilet after receiving training from WaterAid.

Clean water saves lives

I have learned about good hygiene and sanitation from health professionals. It’s been almost a year since we constructed this toilet. Our life has changed a lot because of the toilet. We have never been to a health facility after this, we are living a healthy life. The place is clean, and we spend our days in our compound happily. It is also comfortable for us to work in our backyards.

Nowadays things have changed a lot. We wake up in the morning and use our own toilets, wash up and then commence our work. We live a peaceful and happy life. Even our children and the kids now know how to properly use the toilet. My grandchild goes to the toilet when he comes back from school and then washes his hands. Seeing this is amazing for me. He is six years old and a first grader.

Clean water for toilet

Having toilets like these is very useful for women and girls. It makes us live a dignified life as we can use the toilet whenever we want to. It also allows us to be proud, because we are keeping our sanitation and hygiene. We also have tap water which is in front of our compound which makes life much easier. So, we are living a clean and healthly life.

These are just a couple of the thousands of stories that show the impact of the project. Olfactory Coffee Roasters are proud to have participated in something as special as this.