Even as young teenager, Astbha Abraha knew there was only one way he could make a better life for himself and that was with an education. An interpreter, he told me the story of that schooling (see Part I) as we trundled in a truck through Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region, on our way to the Raya Azebo district to visit a dam—one that holds a whole lot more than just water.
A remote place of rocky hills and plains, some of the district’s villages have been plagued by lack of water, and in 2008, the situation in Boye Gararsa became critical when rains failed to come, triggering acute food and water shortages—conditions Abraha knew well from his own childhood in Tigray. Together with the government and a local partner, the Women’s Association of Tigray, Oxfam America helped respond to the villages’ needs with a solution intended to solve the water problem for good: a micro dam. Read the rest of this entry »