Ethiopia continually lacks access to clean water and sanitation. Currently, 61 million people in Ethiopia do not have access to water and 65 million live without a proper sanitation system. This creates deplorable living conditions as droughts result in famine, food shortages and water-borne diseases that force people to rely heavily on contaminated or stagnant water sources.
According to the World Health Organization, the health status of Ethiopian citizens is poor. A large number of preventable diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, acute respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases. This issue, in addition to the health system being underdeveloped, is a result of the lack of access to clean water and sanitation, poverty, migration, and droughts.
Another one of the biggest issues affecting the living conditions within the country is a lack of housing. This has forced 80 percent of the population to live in slums. In addition, it has subjected over 12,000 children to live on the streets.
On top of the poor living conditions, the state tightly controls the media, making it challenging for Ethiopians to access information that is independent and free of government perspectives and influence. Many journalists are forced to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. Ethiopia is without independent domestic media, social media and non-government television stations. This continues to play key roles in the spreading of information that is used to control the population. The government regularly restricts access to social media apps and websites. This again disables the ability to spread information and limits outside resources.
Arbitrary detention and torture continue to be major problems in Ethiopia. Ethiopian security personnel, including security and intelligence officials, federal police, special police, and military, frequently tortured and poorly treated political detainees, where they were held in secret centers, to coerce confessions or information, regardless of if the information/confessions were true or not. Many of those arrested during peaceful protests said they were tortured in detention, including in military camps. Several women claimed that security forces raped or sexually assaulted them while they were being held.
After freeing themselves from extreme poverty, control and violence, they need your help.
Here in Calgary, we are looking for highly compassionate and dedicated individuals who are willing to help these people navigate life in Calgary. If you have the time to spend only a few hours with these families every week, we need your help.
These friendships will change these families lives and they will also change yours.
To volunteer or for more information contact: Beata Lutaba at firstname.lastname@example.org | 403. 290.5752
Photo Credit: J.Jors