Archive for February, 2012

Electricity and Water in Soddo

The electrical issues in Soddo appear to be resolved!  The power plant has been repaired and the CCC orphanage now has full electricity.  The staff and children are very happy.  It has been a difficult month.  Our staff has done a tremendous job managing the situation and keeping the children safe and healthy.

The water situation is still not good.  CCC is receiving city water twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays).  On an occasional Monday and Thursday, they receive enough water to fill the tanks but most times are able to only get the tanks half full.  We are still having water delivered by donkey to help manage the water situation.  Nathan, one of our US volunteers who manages the home, followed the donkeys a couple of weeks ago and found out the water was coming from three springs.  The water appears to be relatively clean. To be safe, the water is filtered and treated before the children drink it or it is used in cooking.

We hope the rains will begin soon.  This will help the water situation.  Nathan and the CCC staff are prepared to capture the rain run off from the roofs of the dormitory, kitchen, and dining hall buildings.

Thank you for your support and help during this difficult time.


Water tanks and clothes washing station at CCC

Update on Electricity and Water at CCC

The situation is slowly (and slowly is the key word) getting better at CCC.  The home is now intermittently receiving electricity.  The government has brought in two huge generators that are providing some electricity to the town and our home for a few hours everyday.  This is a big help and we do not need to run our small generator as often as we were last week.

The water situation is still not good.  The city water pumps are not working.  Apparently the generators do not provide enough power to work the water pumps.  All the water that we have is  delivered by donkey.  Everyday, we have 14 donkey deliveries.  We have purchased two extra plastic drums to store the water.  We are filtering the water for the children to drink. The donkey water is supplying enough water for cooking, occasionally flushing toilets, modest cleaning, and an occasional bucket bath for each child.  

We have been blessed with many generous donations which are helping to offset our increased costs.  Thank you so much for your kindness. 

We hope to have some word soon on how long this water crisis will last.  Pray for rain!  The “little rains” usually start in April.  Let’s pray for an early “little rainy season”. 

Update on Soddo Situation

The power and water issues continue in Soddo. Nobody has any definitive news. The power plant which experienced the fire supplied electricity to the entire Wolaitta region and to the area south of Soddo. A huge population is without electricity. Richelle and Nathan have heard that the power will be out from several weeks to a year. As previously reported, the city’s water supply is incapacitated since the water is pumped by electric pumps. CCC is having water delivered by donkey and buying bottled water for the children to drink. We are unsure about the continued availability of “donkey water” so we are exploring other options. CCC has bought charcoal to use for cooking. The latest news is that flour and teff (the grain used to make injera) will be in short supply since the mills are powered by electricity. We will be able to buy these staples from Addis.

All children are doing well. The children are on semester break from school right now. We will find out next week if the schools will be open after break.

Many people have asked what they can do to help. Our budget will be severely strained from the extra expenses – donkey water, bottled water, increased price of staples, and increased price and quantity of charcoal. We are also exploring the possibility of helping the neediest people in the Soddo community. Your monetary donations will be put to good use and are much appreciated. Please send donations to Aerie Africa. Please mark the donations “Power Relief”. You can donate by clicking the DONATE NOW! button to the right of this blog or by mailing a check to:

Aerie Africa
2234 South Abbey Loop
New Braunfels, TX 78130

Thank you for your help and prayers. We will keep you updated.

Today in Soddo

This morning the power station in Soddo (town in which CCC orphanage is located) experienced a catastrophic fire. The entire town including the CCC orphanage is without power. The really bad news is that the water pumps used by the local water authorities are run by electricity and the authorities do not have back up generators. So we are without electricity and water at CCC and have 60 children to feed and bath. We also have clothes to keep clean, a kitchen to clean and sanitize, toilets to flush, and bathrooms to clean.

Our resourceful staff has sprung into action. Sadly, it is common to not have water for a few days and electricity for a few hours. So the staff knew what to do. CCC has a swallow well which provides some water. The well has a hand pump so no need for electricity. However, the well will run dry by mid-morning everyday since this is the dry season. Additional water will be delivered by donkey. The staff and kids will need to make good use of every drop of water.

The house mothers will cook over charcoal to prepare the meals for the children. Extra charcoal has already been ordered.

CCC has one small generator. Richelle and Nathan are looking into buying two more small generators. They may be in short supply since the entire town is without electricity so they may have to purchase from another area. These will provide electricity for the office and some lighting for the kids at night.

We do not yet know the impact on the schools. We will update this blog when we know more.

Please keep the children and staff in your prayers. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful staff that springs into action and cares so deeply for our children.

Delivering water by donkey

Cooking over charcoal