We want to introduce you to our partner communities in Ethiopia where 100% of your donations go to transform lives forever. At Run for Water, our development work is centred on how we can help our partner communities become their own champions of development. Here’s how we do that. 



  • local-led


    The power of clean water. Having accessible clean water frees up girls and women to pursue their education and income generating activities. Clean water also means more productivity as less people are sick/dying because of water-borne diseases. 

    During the project, we also provide leadership training and entrepreneurial skills transfers such as long term financial planning. Our Ethiopian staff spends three years with each community doing capacity building and knowledge transfer. 

    Our development work on the ground is led by Ethiopians. Indigenous knowledge and expertise is invaluable when it comes to ensuring our work appropriately and effectively meets each community’s needs. Staff who work with our partner communities are from the respective region, speak the ethnic language and understand local development barriers and priorities.

    Clean water is just the beginning. We work in the most marginalized and remote communities in Ethiopia, but they have shown us, year after year, they are one of the most resilient, innovative and resourceful group of people.  

    By using an appropriate level of technology for our projects and by requiring each partner community to raise 10% of the total project cost, we are able to foster their sense of ownership of the project and their commitment to ensure its lasting impact. These skills and values ripple into their other spheres of life and they continue to mobilize themselves and thrive independently today.

    At Run for Water, we give hand-ups, not hand-outs. 



    Play with this interactive map to see where all of our partner communities over the years are located. Click on each location to get more information on the project.

    At Run for Water, you don’t give to a black hole. You partner with a specific community. 

    Map of Ethiopia
    Clean Water Projects

    Partner Communities



    Population: 15000

    Buluk is located in the Harana Buluk area of Oromia.
    Young leaders in Buluk have been mobilizing their community to fundraise 10% of the project cost. 
    This means, at the end of 2020, girls and women in Buluk will no longer have to go on very long and laborious daily journeys in search of contaminated water. With access to safe, clean, drinking water, kids can go to school, mothers can start businesses, fathers can water their crops, and children no longer die of waterborne diseases.


    Population: 4750

    This community is located in the Emba Alaje district of Southern Tigray. Like in all other rural communities in Ethiopia, the responsibility of fetching water is primarily placed on girls and women. It was an extremely hard task for young girls, old and pregnant women to walk long distances to the river or pond and carry home jerry cans weighing 50lbs. This burden has negatively affected girls and women’s participation in the social, economic, political and cultural spheres of their community life.

    Together, we built a spring cap system and clean water is now flowing in Fresiweat for the first time ever! 



    Population: 1820

    Shallow well built 20 metres from the local school benefitting 620 students and 1200 community members. Going back to school is already stressful enough during a global pandemic, let alone with the added challenge of having no access to clean water. When students of Adiabuna came back to school in the fall of 2020, there was clean water flowing right by their classrooms! Parents and teachers have also taken the initiative to plant veggies and fruit trees in the school compound which the students will water and snack on during school.



    Population: 5600

    Spring cap clean water system complete benefitting 5600 people. We also built latrines to prevent open defecation which has been causing easily preventable diseases like trachoma. 



    Population: 5456

    Shallow well completed. The students at the local school were walking for 2km to a river during their break to get a drink of water. 



    Population: 5314 

    Shallow well completed. Elibat is one of our partner communities with high number of children with disabilities. Living with disabilities in rural Ethiopian communities comes with a great deal of challenges including severely limited access to resources and facilities. This stresses the importance of making all our water points as easily accessible as possible. 


    Coffee growing communities in Bale zone

    Population: 8996

    In partnership with the communities of Basura, Bule, Wote, Adame, Haru, Biloya & Shifo, and the Costa Foundation, we built clean water points in nine schools.

    The project is benefitting 3,685 girls by creating equal access to clean and safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and training them on Menstrual Hygiene Management. There are now gender segregated hand washing facilities and showers that ensure privacy. The number, location and design of school WASH facilities took into consideration the gender factor (gender mainstreaming) along with the cultural and religious context of the community. Part of the training has also been around ensuring equal representation and participation of women and girls in WaSH committees and clubs. School PTAs are oriented to plan and budget for dignity kits. Girls are trained on how to make reusable sanitary pads that are affordable and environmentally friendly. 

    2019 & 2020


    Population: 1024 

    Zeneshka is located in the district of Alaje in the Tigray region. By end of 2018, only 54.5% of school age children were enrolled in the local school. Of those in school, many students became ill with waterborne diseases in 2019. In 2020, we completed a spring cap clean water system and a primary school which included bathrooms, a library and a playground. 

    GPS Coordinates: 12.893182, 39.306034



    Population: 2,200 

    Bekyye is located in the Harana Buluk area of Oromia. Residents had no access to clean water. They were using the water from river and ponds for cooking, cleaning, drinking and animal care.

    In 2019, we worked with them to develop a spring-cap clean water system.



    Population: 2175 

    The community was using a local river as the primary water source for drinking, cleaning, taking care of animals and cooking which caused chronic cycle of water borne diseases

    In 2019,  a spring-cap clean water s system was constructed with a 4km pipe bringing clean water into the centre of the community. 

    GPS Coordinates: 5.16521, 40.90183



    Population: 2616

    The net enrolment rate in school was very low at 22%. The local school was no more than only two open air classrooms and no library or latrine. There was no potable water in the school and the community was using water from the local river and ponds. We constructed a shallow well and a new school with early childhood education building, latrines and a new library. 

    GPS Coordinates: 12.925113,39.539957



    The community of Adiarbaeate is located in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and is on a very dry land. Girls and women had to walk for hours every day to find the next water source. We worked to build a shallow well within the community for clean water source. 


    Awash Kolati

    The community of Awash Kolati is located in the Barbare district of Oromia region in Ethiopia. It is approximately 550 km south east of the capital, Addis Ababa. It is one of the coffee growing communities in the district with a large portion of the population living in absolute poverty, making it incredibly challenging for the community to improve quality and access to infrastructure and education.

    For children who are able to go to school, the learning conditions are very challenging. Their classrooms are often made of sticks and mud. Rainy seasons make it worse as flood erodes the classrooms, putting a halt to classes. Due to the poor conditions of the classrooms, they are often under the risk of collapsing or its roof being taken away by the wind.

    Our partnership with Awash Kolati in 2018 brought a combination of infrastructure development, teacher and community member capacity building and training, and provision of supplies. We built a spring water system for the school and community, two blocks of four classrooms, one early childhood education classroom, one library, and two blocks of 8 pit gender-segregated latrines (one each for boys and girls).

    2018 (R4W Calgary)

    Sheni Kondala

    Sheni Kondala is located in the rural Oromia region. This community had high drop out rates with girls at school because of early marriage and the domestic responsibilities girls have to take on such as collecting water from the river every day. 

    Before we constructed water points and a school, our partner agency, Imagine1Day, worked with the community to ensure everyone understood the significance of sending children to school. This work supported the establishment of school girls club which aimed at bringing all girls to school, support each other, discuss and find solutions to problems they may face. The club not only allows girls to come together to share ideas and opinions, but also provides a space for girls to talk about their health and wellbeing. 

    In November 2018, we welcomed clean water with them as well as new school buildings complete with latrines and a library. 


    Gora Bantu

    The community of Gora Bantu is located in the Barbare district of Oromia region in Ethiopia. It is approximately 525 km south east of the capital, Addis Ababa.

    Their source for drinking water was the nearby river which they used to share with their cattle and other domesticated animals. We visited them in November, 2018 to celebrate the flow of clean water for the first time in their lives. 


    Partner communities form earlier years are archived.

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    Donation Disclaimer: 100% of your donations go directly to Ethiopia to bring clean water and improved education. All of our overhead cost is covered by a group of generous partners. If this year’s designated project is fully funded, Run for Water reserves the right to use excess funds to build additional water and education projects in other rural communities in Ethiopia.