Bokiji lies 170 miles south of the Ethiopian capital and has a population of 33,000. The nearest main water supply is approximately five miles away causing numerous health problems for the locals. Approximately 75% of health problems in Ethiopian children are due to lack of clean water and children are suffering unnecessarily from illnesses such as diarrhoea and dysentery. Water-related diseases are the single biggest killer of infants in Ethiopia and many children die before the age of five. Water scarcity severely affects women and girls as they are traditionally responsible for collecting water; it is for this reason that many girls in the rural community are not able to attend school. Instead, they walk for hours each day to collect water, which is almost certainly contaminated, and this leads to sickness, and often death.
Only a few taps can be found in Bokiji. To care for the health of the students and the community, TVF and Kids Alive UK will jointly fund a project to install pipes, water filters and dig a well in Bokiji.