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The power of photo stories in Ethiopia

Published on: 28/11/2016

Photographs showcasing that Self-supply can change people's lives.

In 2014, IRC were invited to Hawassa to support the regional bureau of water in their planning for Self-supply activities. Self-supply means where households invest in improving their own water supply facilities, typically hand dug wells but this can also include rainwater harvesting and household water treatment and storage. Self-supply is a relatively new approach for the sector to support – but not new to the thousands of families who depend on it as a source of water – so the bureau requested some support. IRC had previously undertaken research on Self-supply in SNNPR.

With a national Self-supply fair coming up on World Water Day in March 2014, we took the opportunity of being in SNNPR to develop some communication materials on Self-supply. Petterik Wiggers – an amazing photographer that we would recommend to anyone – came along with and then went out to the villages to take photos on Self-supply. Petterik has great experience in Ethiopia and a skill to generate a quick rapport with all people, which shows in his photographs.

The photographs were widely praised at the Self-supply Fair, and we subsequently used them in many publications. They show how Self-supply can change lives, and make a case on why government and the sector need to support people who are trying to help themselves.

Medannet collecting water for her family

The photo of Medannet is one in the series shot for IRC Ethiopia by Petterik Wiggers. More photos and their stories can be viewed in John Butterworth's blog on Self-supply.

Celebrating IRC Communications

This blog is part of a series on Celebrating IRC Communications that was produced for a special issue of E-Source. For the other articles in this series see the Useful Links below.

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