In Ethiopia, there are more than 61 million people without access to safe water and even more without access to sanitation. Women and children often walk more than three hours to collect water, typically from wells or ponds that they have to share with animals.
Famous Serbian football player, Neven Subotic, has founded the Neven Subotic Foundation that works on projects focused on supplying this basic human right to as many people as possible in Ethiopia. Here are the top five facts about the Neven Subotic Foundation.
Top 5 Facts About the Neven Subotic Foundation
- Neven Subotic, together with a handful of volunteers, began the process of giving access to clean water to as many people as possible. This was the beginning of a life-long project that would soon develop into the Neven Subotic Foundation in 2012.
- 100 percent of the proceeds the Neven Subotic Foundation raises goes toward water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The organization is focused on building wells and sanitary facilities in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. The foundation currently has 121 projects in progress and 116 projects have already been realized. As much as 59 wells were built in municipalities. In an effort to provide clean and sanitary water to students, the organization built 57 wells in schools, with sanitary facilities included.
- The Foundation recognizes that in many vulnerable communities, girls and young women carry the burden of fetching water every day for their families. This process often takes several hours per day, preventing many girls from attending school. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the water sources will be safe for drinking and other uses.
- There are four steps that the Neven Subotic Foundation utilizes in order to achieve 100 percent WASH.
- Research. This phase lasts anywhere from six to nine months and involves assessing the most effective solutions for the proposed community or school. The Foundation also utilizes hydrologists and water authorities to locate the ideal spot for a new well.
- Planning. It can take between nine and 12 months for costs to be analyzed and donations to be procured for the projects. Materials are purchased and teams and technicians are hired for the job.
- Implementation. The penultimate step lasts between 12 and 15 months. The drilling team drills until they find clean water, a technician installs a pump and the community is trained on sustainable use of the well.
- Monitoring and reporting. This process can take anywhere from 15 to 18 months. The project leads double check the work three times and the location of the well is accurately logged. Continued discussions are held with the community about the importance, as well as the impact, of these facilities.
- The Foundation has more than 6,000 individual donors who play their role in providing clean water access. Thanks to their generous contributions, continued focus is being placed on innovation. For example, the organization has launched a new competition for engineers in which they work to develop solutions for the construction of latrines, in a partnership with SimScale, a simulation company.
The Neven Subotic Foundation not only works to provide 100 percent WASH to the people in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, but the organization also promotes education. When the Foundation builds wells for communities and schools, they are offering opportunities for children — especially girls — to attend school instead of having to walk miles to unsanitary water sources.