How Safe Water and Friendship Changed Life for a Woman in Ethiopia

In the Kokosa region of Ethiopia, tall eucalyptus trees and wide cactus surround unpaved roads through mountains. Aberu, a mother of eight and widow, lives off of one of these roads in a small community called Korala village.

Aberu is soft spoken and serious, and she has a great responsibility on her hands. When Aberu’s husband died suddenly 10 years ago, she was left as the only caretaker to their eight children.

She had no water nearby, but walked miles each day to reach rivers and unprotected springs. The children were sick, and the next day’s meals were unknown.

“I was living in darkness,” she said, recalling those years. “I brought up all my children myself, and it was very hard.”

Most of these challenges—the sickness, the lost work hours—resulted from the water and sanitation problem in her community. But, in 2019, Aberu met Lifewater’s local health promoter, Triunes.

Triunes (left) and Aberu (right) in Korala village

“What attracted me most was Lifewater’s loving manner, because they are helpful and respectful,” Aberu said. “We received clean water, but also lessons day to day without any payments on how to keep our sanitation and hygiene.”

Aberu and Triunes became great friends. Triunes showed her how to keep her home sanitary so her children would grow healthy. She spoke encouragement over Aberu, who was so in need of it.

“Since Lifewater came to my village, so many things have changed in my family.” – Aberu

When the time came to construct a safe water source in Korala village, the drilling team found water on Aberu’s property. Safe drinking water poured out from the earth, just steps away from Aberu’s home!

Aberu’s youngest daughter, Saaddaya, age 4, drinking from the safe water well

“All the time, she came to check on me,” Aberu said. “Since Lifewater came to my village, so many things have changed in my family; we have received clean water.”

“I am saved,” she added.

Today, the members of Korala village drink safe water. Aberu’s oldest daughters are both taking college courses and hope to become teachers. For Aberu, it’s difficult to imagine asking God for any more than she has already received.

Aberu, her oldest daughters, and her youngest daughter at the community well

Still, she said, “The most I desire is that my children be firmly living in the hands of God; I pray that my children are able to accomplish all their dreams in their education.”

Today, every child and community member in Korala village has a bright future ahead. The community has safe drinking water, the hope of Jesus, and more time to do what’s important, like spending time together and working towards their dreams.


Choose a Village. Change a Life.