Meet Rammate, the Alemtena WASHCO cashier

16.12.2021 - Ethiopia

Rammate caught our eye in the Ethiopia project launching workshop, as she was accompanied by the extremely well-behaved 6-month-old: Abdullafiz. Abdullafiz had amazing patience and managed to sit quietly through the entire workshop in his mother’s lap. After the official part had ended, Rammate told us she was inspired to join the WASHCO of her kebele about a year ago, because the previous WASHCO had been doing a disservice to the community. There was no money even for fuel to run generators for operating the pumps, so the inhabitants of Alemtena had to get their water from other kebeles for months. She raised this issue in the kebele’s women’s group, who in turn brought the issue to the kebele authorities. Consequently, a partly new WASHCO was elected from people who had at least completed grade ten, which Rammate has.

Rammate was hesitant to run for the WASHCO position at first, but has been enthusiastic to be taking care of the WASHCO affairs after she was elected. The new WASHCO has been very successful in raising a whopping 50 000 Birr (~1000 EUR) on their bank account! The work takes some hours every week.Every month, the payments from tap attendants are collected,  guards and operator are paid, fuel for the generator is bought and the remaining money is taken to the bank. There is a also weekly meeting. We were also pleased to hear that as the only woman of the seven-member WASHCO, she also enjoys the respect and support of the other active members. Her husband, the kebele manager, also encouraged her to take on the responsibilities.

She told us she is very excited about the project and shall tell everything about the workshop to the other WASHCO members. After the discussion, she and the baby took the motorcycle taxi back to their home kebele. She had to pay 50 Birr (1 EUR) for a one-direction motorbike trip. Due to having the baby with her, other passengers could not join the ride. However, we saw motorbikes which had up to six people on one bike! We will catch up with Rammate again as the project moves forward.