New school in Aleta Wondo EthiopiaNew hut in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia3 new huts in villiage










As Ethiopia struggles to recover from the serious drought of 2002/3 the country faces a real shortage of clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, access to drinking water in Ethiopia was 22% in 2004. For the majority of the population the closest distance of a water source is a minimum of 1 hour walking away (often traveled by women). We urgently need to provide the communities in the Aleta Wondo district with access to safe, clean, accessible water that is essential for health and survival. Only about 8% of the inhabitants of Sidama have access to electricity.

• Retrieved Tsegaye Bekele’s family property in Titira, on the outskirts of Aleta Wondo which he donated to Common River: 20 hectares.
• Installed water and sanitation systems (dug 5 hand-dug wells, rain water catchment).
• Brought electricity to Titira
• Reforestation through indigenous tree planting, re-introducing endangered tree species.
• Installed a biogas system to fuel the kitchen burners.

Eco-friendly buildings built using traditional Sidama architectural design and techniques:
1. Bridge onto property and a community bridge
2. One room schoolhouse: Library
3. School administrative office and warehouse
4. Three classroom school house & kindergarten hut
5. Six latrines for school
6. Pavilion
7. Hand-washing station
8. Kitchen
9. Demonstration Garden & kitchen garden & student garden and coffee garden
10. Eco-lodge: dining hut, 4 lodging huts, 2 latrines, 1 bathroom
11. Biodiesel station
12. Animal Barn
13. 5 hand-dug wells
14. Sports fields: 2 soccer fields, basketball court, volleyball court
15. Fence around entire property

BIODIESEL Installation using cow manure

Biodiesel installation using cow manure in Ethiopian village

Water and Sanitation: Assuring safe water access is critical to all aspects of the program. There is a need to lay pipes to extend the water lines from downtown to Titira for public use with at least public shower/laundry washing stations.

An anonymous angel donor provided funds for tapping into the municipality water source.  Pipes have been laid from the town main-lines to reach our school.  Storage tanks and pumps are still needed to utilize this new source of clean water!  Water is the Source of LIFE!  This is a huge positive change, which was long awaited.  Thanks be to our Water Angel!  May she never feel thirst her entire life.

Electricity: Install a transformer to bring higher electrical power to Titira and surrounding area. Explore possibility of solar energy.


  • Build a green house to extend the growing season and introduce greenhouse crop production will benefit nutrition
  • Plant propagation through a nursery, and Seed Distribution Center
  • Introduce drip irrigation for year round growing
  • Teach the community water conservation, landscape energy conservation, reduction of pesticide and fertilizer
  • Behavioral change to promote separate dwellings for animals
  • Reduction of yard waste contaminating the Melabo River
  • Development of Natural Products

Find out how your visit, medical volunteering, international internship, student volunteering, volunteer teaching and / or donations can help us reach our goal of sustainable development in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia. For more information about Common River and how you can help, contact us today.