"The benefit is immeasurable!" - WaterFinns project has helped Shita Abedela take a leap in her life and career

25.2.2022 - Ethiopia

Shita Abedela  is WASHCO chairperson of  Hamata Linda kebele. She is 30 years old, has three children and lives with her husband in Gango village of the kebele. Their income depends on subsistence agriculture and they have 1.5 hectares of land. Shita completed grade ten after marrying her husband.

“Before the project intervention, I was a member of the WASHCO but did not have a role. During the WASHCO reestablishment session the kebele administration and the beneficiaries’ community were not willing to elect women for WASHCO positions. However, it was eventually possible to create female leadership after a long discussion with project employees to change the attitudes of the community. In the same session, I was able to be elected as chairperson of the WASHCO of Hamata Linda kebele. On the days I first started working, committee members were not happy when I called them for a meeting, but in due course, their views changed.

I’m very happy continuing attending trainings, workshops, community dialogues and meetings that have been organised by Water Action  throughout the project. Today I am able to speak freely and without fear in front of the community as well as the WASHCO members. After some time, I myself started conducting meetings, coordinating community action, addressing questions from the community and providing training based on the training I had received. Eventually, the Wera woreda Water, Energy and Mining Office evaluated my performance and promoted me as the WASHCO manager at Linda kebele. Accordingly, the office is paying me a gross salary of 1000 birr per month.

The benefit I acquired from the project intervention is immeasurable. I didn 't have a source of income in the past, which I do now. Water Action has focused on women and is becoming an example for other bodies to similarly encourage women. The community's skeptical attitudes towards women have eroded. There are many women here with a lot of potential who have not gotten this opportunity to work before. If the work on women continues to be strengthened, many women can benefit from it. I am personally ready to work alongside the project to provide the necessary cooperation and support. I am very much grateful to Water Action for being able to become a leader and a professional.”