Child drinking water from a tap

Sharp Europe and charity: water Working in Ethiopia Update One

Back in 2019, Sharp Europe began working with charity: water to help bring clean and safe drinking water to an area of Ethiopia. In our first update, we look at how the scheme is getting off the ground and started to help the community.

In the world today, some 785 million people, or roughly only 1 in 10, don’t have access to clean drinking water. Sharp is a company that innovates but always puts the person first. That was why we decided to help make a physical impact on the lives of others. We believe that having access to clean water is fundamental to life, health and the wellbeing of us all.

We chose to work with charity: water as, like Sharp, they are an innovator in their chosen field. They approach the non-profit sector in a completely different way to others and are guided by three simple principles:

Firstly, 100 per cent of all public donations are sent to and used in the field. No matter how small the sum, those donating through their fundraising platform receive a report outlining exactly how that money has made an impact.

Secondly, they believe in transparency. For example, every water project is logged on Google Maps and recorded for posterity. This is because they believe sustainability is essential. So, charity: water is developing a series of sensors that will monitor water flow and help mechanics locate and maintain faulty pumps.

Thirdly, they believe in working with local organisations. charity: water provides the funding, training and support but doesn’t actually do the work itself. This is carried out by local organisations on the ground who are experts in bringing communities together. In many instances, local communities do not know that charity: water has been involved.

Three images of people collecting water

Sharp Europe in Ethiopia

The project the Sharp Europe donation is a part of is taking place in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which is in the North of the country. Each project typically takes 21 months from beginning to completion. Money is sent out to the field every six months, so money collected from July to December is sent in January to fund building work, while money raised in January through June is sent in July. As with all projects, it is being co-ordinated with a local organisation, in this instance The Relief Society of Tigray (REST), which is the largest NGO (Non-Government Organisation) working in the region. charity: water has worked with them for over 10 years, so they know they do amazing work on the ground, empowering communities.

Along with hand digging or drilling bore hole wells, the work involves training the community on how to use, maintain and repair the water pumps effectively. Our project, which is at the six-month stage is very much in the first phase, where a great deal of preparation work is being carried out. This primarily involves training in the community, but can also cover everything from setting up local infrastructures to building road access, so the actual work of digging and drilling can be carried out.

At the 12-15-month stage we expect the project to be completed. This will include testing the water quality and flow, and making sure that everything works as it should. At this point the project is documented, GPS mapping coordinates taken and photography for future updates recorded and distributed. While there is a great deal still to be done, we are extremely proud to be a part of this project, as fresh, clean water is, and always should be, a basic staple of everyday life for all.

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