I want to provide an important update on the projects listed below in your assignment letter. The project was part of a group of 40 being implemented by our partner Relief Society of Tigray (REST).
If you have been following the W2T newsletter, our postings and any recent news on Ethiopia, you know the northern region of Tigray has been embroiled in a conflict with the national government since about mid-November 2020. 100,000’s of people in the region have been displaced and thousands have lost their lives in the conflict. Peace talks to solve the conflict did begin but fell apart before progress could be made. If you want to see more about the current situation, you can review a recent NYT article by clicking HERE or I have attached a copy that you can print. It is difficult to say when peace might be restored.
Your wells were assigned before the conflict started and only after we knew that it had been completed by REST. So, before the conflict started, your well was complete and serving the assigned community, but we had not yet been able to apply the plaques and get completion pictures. W2T has already paid REST for the work completed before the conflict with your donation. Current security and safety concerns in the region related to the on-going conflict keep our partner from being able to determine the current status of the wells in this group.
For this group of projects, we plan to ride it out until we have a more stable environment in Tigray and our partner can make an assessment on this group of projects. It is likely that some of them have been damaged in the conflict and we will work with REST to complete repairs and put the well back into service for the original community. We are confident that REST will be able to ensure the communities are served. No way to tell how long this might be, but it wouldn’t surprise us that it would be another 9-12 months before we know.
The good news is that our other partners in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania continue our mission to bring clean water to those in need. We wish we had better news about Tigray…..there just doesn’t appear to be any momentum toward a peaceful resolution in the near term. We ask for your continued prayers for the people of Tigray and our partner REST who is devoting all of its available resources to humanitarian relief in Tigray region.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Dick Moeller @ Water to Thrive.