3.2 million people face water shortage
Up to five billion birr is needed to repair the water infrastructure damaged by the war in Tigray region, the Ministry of Water and Energy says.
Over 3.5 million people have been deprived of access to clean drinking water as a direct result of the two-year civil war that has been raging in the Tigray region.
The damage is enoromous in the cities of Aksum, Sire, and Shiraro, according to Aschalew Tesfaye, head of emergency drinking water and special case officer at the Ministry of Water and Energy.
In the region, 75 percent of motorized water infrastructure and 71 percent of non-motorized water infrastructure were destroyed. He says research revealed that oil from 14 transformers in Shire City was taken and used to power generators and cars. Although the city’s water infrastructure was fixed once the power was restored, there is a shortage of due to different forms damage.
Water was available in Adwa, Axum, Selklaka, Shire, and seven other cities, but there is not in Shiraro, Adi Agray, Adi Nebrid, and Adi Daro due to electromechanical component damage.
A dam located in Adwa city provides 33 percent of Aksum’s water supply. They were unable to use the service since the pipeline that transported water from the dam to Axum was damaged.
“Axum’s residents are now getting water from five wells while the pump is being repaired. Residents currently receive only 40 percent of the water, but once the pump is installed, they will be able to receive 60 percent more water,” Aschalewu said.
The Ministry of Water and Energy determined that 301 damaged water facilities in 70 districts in northwestern Tigray needed to be repaired. Except for the motor, the remaining 400 water facilities were also damaged, according to him.
He says that there is a plan in place to reassess the damage to Mekelena and Adigrat’s water infrastructure.
“In total, 4.8 million people in the Tigray region experienced water supply issues. So far, 1.5 million people have received water. However, the remaining 3.2 million Tigrayans require immediate water delivery,” Ashchalaw said.