It is very precious to get clean and enough potable water supply in many parts of the Afar region in Ethiopia. Most of the Afar population living condition is nomadic and cattle based agriculture, hence move from place to place to search hay and food for their cattle. They settle, most of the time, along the periphery of the rivers. Lots of governmental and non-governmental organizations, like Kelem Ethiopia, are supporting the regional government to solve the issues and provide enough water to the communitiesâ€™. These organizations have constructed different water schemes as per the feasibility of the project in the surrounding environs. However, it has been observed many schemes in different districts of the region and lots of schemes are non-functional. Then, the study has been initiated and conducted in seven selected districts of the region.
The study assessed and surveyed hand dug well and rain water harvesting water schemes types which are the two most known features in the study sites. The study includes 24 water schemes among which 16 are rain water harvestings and 8 are hand dug wells. All of these mentioned schemes are constructed by Kelem Ethiopia which is a non-governmental organization and the foremost local organization for these communities. However, as per the research survey, the average functionality status of the hand dug well schemes is 65.75 % and the rain water harvesting schemes is 22.94 %. From the surveyed rain water harvesting schemes, their functional distributions are 75 % are partially functional and 25 % are totally non-functional. Whereas, the hand dug wells schemes distribution is 50 % fully functional, 37.5 % are partially functional and 12.5 % are totally non-functional.
The research has been analyzed based on the qualitative data gathered on the spot. The hand dug well sites have been evaluated based on lack of stakeholdersâ€™ participation, lack of community ownership, lack of detail water source investigation, drying of water source, improper water scheme installation and workmanship, nonexistence of maintenance and rehabilitation, non-existence of guard, caretakers and fence, low community awareness and, weak coordination among stakeholders. Whereas the rain water harvesting water schemes have been analyzed based on being of proper study, insufficient reservoir capacity, materials quality, maintenance and rehabilitation, water quality, water leakage due to improper joint, wall crack, scheme components malfunctioning, school roof wind blowing, fence, care takers and guard, improper utilization, source drying, improper construction methodology and curing.
The main non-functionality causes of the schemes are lack of community ownership, drying of water source, nonexistence of maintenance and rehabilitation, weak coordination among users, government, kebele officers and school roof wind blowing. Most of the schemes still needs minor to major maintenances and rehabilitation. The study has identified solutions to access water from the schemes as per their intended purpose.
Keywords: Schemes, hand dug wells, rain water harvesting, functionality, sustainability