Drop of Water (DoW) was established in 2009 to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation while promoting healthy hygiene practices to communities in rural parts of Ethiopia.
Drop of Water has a comprehensive 3-step sustainability approach: firstly, providing access to clean water; secondly, assisting communities in creating strategic plans for water-scarce areas; and lastly, implementing the Aware, Active, and Change campaign. This campaign engages professionals and university students in learning about, advocating for, and creating water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions within their communities.
Why Their Work Matters
Approximately 39 million rural Ethiopians lack a safe water supply, and nearly 48 million are without basic sanitation. Limited access to safe water and inadequate sanitation contribute to 60-80% of communicable diseases, while 50% of undernutrition consequences are linked to poor hygiene and water supply. In response, DoW builds water wells and supports rural communities, fostering ownership and creating community champions to drive demand for improved WASH services and delivery.
More than 80,000 rural and underprivileged communities in Ethiopia with better and Increased access to safe and reliable water sources.
74 Rural schools in rural Ethiopia have been reached with clean water projects and provided clean water access.
50,000 community members of Rural Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya, Sidama, Afar, and Harari regions Exhibit increased knowledge, attitude, and practice on how to sustainably use their water scheme and to minimize water contaminants at the community and household levels.
Over 5000 youth have been engaged in volunteer activities in efforts to improve clean water services to rural communities and create awareness about proper hygiene and sanitation practices.
50,000 community members of rural Ethiopia have practiced proper and sustainable hygiene and sanitation practices.
- Over 150 clean water schemes have been constructed in different rural parts of Ethiopia which has led to up to 80,000 community members now accessing clean water.
- 30,000 community members of rural communities are involved in developing and implementing a Climate Resilient Water Safety Plan (CR-WSP) in their community water supplies.
- Over 150 WASH committees (WASHCo) Established and trained to manage their water supply system and to engage their community for sustainable use.
- 74 rural schools have been reached and impacted by clean water development programs.
- Over 360 rural households have been supported with Home gardening projects for improved nutrition
- 25 girls' designated rooms have been built and supported for improved adolescent girls' menstrual hygiene management and sanitation.
DoW develops and builds programs that bring systemic change to actively empower young university students to give back to their community and be a change force in societal development.
DOW works with young people to improve the health and well-being of marginalized communities in Ethiopia by providing these communities with access to safe drinking water and supporting them to understand and adopt good hygiene and sanitation practices.
DoW is working on Changing the local funding scene which is exhibiting a growing number of local individual philanthropists as well as a growing culture for local private companies to engage in (Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Hermella Wondimu Woldehana
Hermella has more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit management, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and fundraising. As co-founder of Drop of Water (DoW), she played a crucial leadership role in building and transforming the organization from a university students’ local initiative to a nationally recognized NGO. Hermella is an Effective communicator who applies systems thinking to DoW management to ensure maximum resources support the organizational mission.
Driven by passion and total surrender to GOD’s calling for her life, she remains committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Ethiopia. Her noteworthy leadership ability was accompanied by being selected as one of the Mandela Washington fellows in 2015, awarded the Associations of Women in Business (AWIB’s) Women of Excellence award in 2016, and Blood: Water’s Leader of the Year award in 2020.
Hermella is a master’s degree graduate in Sustainable international development from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. She believes the water crisis can be ended through people working together, and she aspires to continue positively impacting civil society in Ethiopia and beyond.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
Elfaz Kassa Mekonnen
Elfaz earned his MA in Development Management from Addis Ababa University, he holds his BA degree in Management and BSc degree in Heritage Conservation both from Mekelle University in 2016 and 2011, respectively. He also completed the Civic Leadership program from the Young African Leadership Initiative; Regional Leadership Center in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018.
Elfaz was among the pioneer volunteers who joined DoW in 2009. Through his servant leadership and dedication towards the organization’s vision, Elfaz highly supported and is playing a major role in the realization of the organization’s goal through designing and overseeing local community-based development projects for the wellness and improved life of the rural communities. He said, that in DoW he founded his true calling and remains to be a young development practitioner as a Program Director of DoW.
Elfaz aspires to see DoW as a leading organization that improves rural communities’ lives in developing African countries through his leadership.