PROFILE: LEGESSE DENGISO
My name is Legesse Dengiso and I am a farmer in Habeja Village. I remember years ago when we used to be able to drink from the Kolla River – when it was clean enough. These days it has been polluted by the wet mills surrounding it and we can’t drink it any more. This means that the women have to walk a much longer distance to get clean drinking water.
Our animals are still drinking this polluted water, because there is no other option. And everyone in this village uses the Kolla River for sanitation – it’s only here that we can wash our clothes, our body and fetch water for other household uses.
When the wet mills are running, it’s difficult just to pass through the river because it smells very bad – like rotting materials. We’re always scared of water-borne diseases because it’s difficult to get health services unless we go to a larger town that’s far away and expensive.
My hope is that one day this river will be free of any waste water pollution. I want it to become clean again, as it was before, so we don’t have to be afraid for the health of our children and our animals.