U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Dedicates New Well in Dire Dawa
U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Donald E. Booth dedicated a new well in the Adiga Falima area of Dire Dawa November 29, 2010.
Members of the U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 (NMCB-7) completed the first of seven hand-pump-operated wells the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) committed to drill in the Dire Dawa region June 14. This is the only working well in a 10 kilometer radius and services two villages. Since then, another well was completed in Legota Mirga. Five wells remain to be built; one each in Ashadelli and Gol Adag, and three in Gota.
"This is a sign of the commitment of the United States, the U.S. military and the American people to assist here," said Ambassador Booth. "Having clean water is essential to life. The well will help keep villagers healthy, their crops alive and benefit the community as a whole."
The Gugure clan will be using this well. Many from the community turned out in force to express their appreciation. They celebrated with song and dance after the dedication.
"God only knows all the hard work they put into this and may God lead them in the future" Chairman of Adiga Falima, Jamal Issa said.
In the Gugure clan, it is customary that the village women collect the water for their family, while the men farm and the children attend school.
"In the past we sometimes had to walk from sunrise to sunset to collect water from the city but now our job will be easier," said a village woman.
"On behalf of my commander, Admiral Brian Losey, I would like to pass his best wishes to all the villagers and for the support that you had in helping the construction team that was here building the well," said U.S. Navy Captain Scott Vasina, Strategic Communications director, CJTF-HOA.
Since the completion of the well, the NMCB-7 have been involved in the maintenance and upkeep of the well, making several repairs. That responsibility is currently being transitioned to the Dire Dawa Administration of Wells, Mines and Energy, as they work alongside U.S. forces.
Ambassador Booth was accompanied by his wife, Anita, and Deputy Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ethiopia, Mr. Jason Fraser.