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Recap Made Blue impact trip to Ethiopia

From the 7th till the 9th of February Made Blue visited Ethiopia with their ambassadors. Niels van der Sanden represented i-team Global during this trip. From 2016 Made Blue has been investing in the project Making Water Everybody's Business (MWEB). This is a project of Amref Flying Doctors. We have personally experienced the impact of the investment in this project. It were intense days and we visited various places like Addis Ababa, Adama, Metehara and Awash. In those places clean drinking water and sanitation has been realized by this project called MWEB in short. The group was very inspired and impressed by how the WASH kiosks are run by people in the local communities. We now know that WASH facilities make a huge difference and that contributions like these to the local communities are so valuable. We can make a real impact in this project as an ambassador of Made Blue. The goal of Amref Flying Doctors: to provide all households in Ethiopia with clean drinking water and good sanitation before 2035.

DAY 1 (1/3) 

Thursday, February 6th

After an intensive journey - and a skipped night - we boarded the bus directly from the airport to the headquarters of Amref Flying Doctors in Addis Ababa. There we were warmly welcomed by, among others, Misrak Makonnen - the Country Director of Amref Ethiopia - who told us more about the work of Amref Flying Doctors in Africa and how the water projects are set up and realized. Their goal: to provide all households in Ethiopia with clean drinking water and good sanitation before 2035.

DAY 1 (2/3)

Thursday, February 6th

Subsequently, Gizachew Mengie - the project leader of the water project we are visiting - took us into the slums of Kechene. Kechene is the largest slum in Addis Ababa. We first got to know the Solid Waste Collectors there, a waste collection service run by women in the slums of Addis Ababa. They currently provide no fewer than 500 households with their services! But they don't stop there: they are currently saving for a second garbage truck.

DAY 1 (3/3)

Thursday, February 6th

Then we went to a WASH kiosk that was built by Amref within the project that we support. A WASH kiosk is a public space where you can wash and use a toilet. This kiosk is maintained by young people with a disability, so that they too can participate in society.

Afterwards we had lunch at a traditional restaurant, where we enjoyed a typical local lunch! Then we got on the bus again for a beautiful road trip from Addis Ababa to Awash.

DAY 2 (1/2)

Friday, February 7th

We visited various WASH kiosks in Adama, Metehara and Awash. WASH kiosks are public spaces where people can wash, get water and go to a toilet. We started in the slums of Awash, where we were given more explanation about how these water kiosks are run. Local people can use a kiosk for a small fee. This income is saved by a community manager for maintenance and for future investments. After Awash we went on to Metehara. There we visited, among other things, a WASH kiosk where people had saved so much that they were able to build a second kiosk independently. And they are still expanding their services. A good example of local entrepreneurship!

DAY 2 (2/2)

Friday, February 7th

We visited various WASH kiosks in Adama, Metehara and Awash. WASH kiosks are public spaces where people can wash, get water and go to a toilet. We started in the slums of Awash, where we were given more explanation about how these water kiosks are run. Local people can use a kiosk for a small fee. This income is saved by a community manager for maintenance and for future investments. After Awash we went on to Metehara. There we visited, among other things, a WASH kiosk where people had saved so much that they were able to build a second kiosk independently. And they are still expanding their services. A good example of local entrepreneurship!

DAY 3 (1/2)

Saturday, February 8th

Yesterday we started our day at Moyee Coffee. Moyee is the world's first fair chain coffee supplier. They go beyond 'fairtrade' coffee. Where 'fairtrade' is about a fair price for coffee farmers, Moyee goes for the best price. Moyee does this by moving the entire production process from coffee to the country of origin. As a result, the value of coffee - which arises when it is burned - remains with the people who work so hard for it. 

Unfortunately we couldn't visit the coffee roasting ourselves, because they recently moved. Nevertheless, it was very cool to hear this story! After the visit to Moyee we travelled back to the centre of Addis Ababa to stroll around. In the evening we met Misrak Makonnen for one last time to discuss our impressions while enjoying a delicious Ethiopian dinner. Afterwards we finished our trip and got on the plane back to the Netherlands.

DAY 3 (2/2)

Saturday, February 8th

It was an incredibly impressive journey, where we have been able to see how water projects are realized. We have learned that it is about more than just the construction of wells: involving the community is at least as important. Only when the locals are involved and taught how to use and maintain a WASH kiosk, it can be successful and continue to exist in the future. We have also seen that access to water leads to flowering communities. First of all because people are healthier and children can go to school (including the girls when they are on their period). But it also offers opportunities, such as the possibility of local entrepreneurship around the water point and letting children study from the merits. A water project is more than just access to water: it gives people a basis that they need for good health and to make their dreams come true.