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Last week we have received some exciting news from our partners  PROJECT WATERFALL about the completion of one of their flagship projects in Jabi Tehnan, Ethiopia.

Campbell & Syme and its customers helped fund this project along with other coffee companies through raising money during the UK Coffee Week and also through the paper cup charge for takeaway drinks we introduced later in 2019. 

"This project started in 2018 and construction was in full swing at the beginning of 2020, making it one of the first projects to face the early challenges of COVID-19. This means that the funds has not only meant clean water to drink, but also sanitation and hygiene training in a time when washing our hands became more important than ever. 

Today, clean water is flowing in three villages - Woynima, Guay Wubeshet and Mankusa Abduguma, and has changed the lives of over 10,571 people.

Ethiopia is Africa's top producer of coffee and the 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, carried out by WaterAid, has brought clean drinking water and sanitation to some of the most affected communities in the coffee growing Jabi Tehnan district of Ethiopia." 


"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, Project Waterfall's 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."


Kikeb Tilaye, 40, explains what their life was like before the project was completed.

"Unfortunately, we don’t have tap water near our house. We need to walk for about 20 minutes to get water. 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."

(Sanitation facilities before)


- Two water supply systems have been constructed and handed over to 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.

- 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.

- 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 also distributed to 631 female students.

(Sanitation block after)

Bizuayehu Anteneh (mother of five), explains what it means having access to clean water for her and her family.

"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." 

We would like to thank Project Waterfall & WaterAid for their initiative and to all of our customers who participated in UK COFFEE WEEK with us. 

The official completion report, pictures and stories from the community were all provided by Project Waterfall.

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