For many years, 18-year-old Anab had to walk more than two days to reach a water source. She would bring her family's animals with her, walking in simple sandals on sandy paths studded with rocks to fill jerry cans and bring them home for cooking, washing and drinking.
In the middle of the worst drought in 60 years, fetching water is her most important task — but it is not the only one that fills her days. Anab cooks, cleans, gathers firewood, walks to the market, cares for her siblings and repairs her house when the wind blows pieces of it away.
Like many girls in Ethiopia, she has never been to school because her work requires so much of her.
But since Mercy Corps built a reservoir near her village of Dudmaygag, getting clean water is not such a chore.
Her trek has been reduced to a matter of hours, leaving her time to begin an education. And she can be assured that water will be saved there from the precious rains — something that no one takes for granted in this drought-stricken region.
Give the gift of hope
You can help more women like Anab get the essential resources they need by giving clean water this holiday season.
Shop Mercy Corps Gifts to choose from over 50 presents that truly change lives.