A new Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a noble plan called the Odda Gabisso Development Association (OGDA) plans to help bring clean water to communities in Oromia and Afar regional states. OGDA was founded a year ago with 12 members mainly of people of Ethiopian origin living in Canada from different professions with the aim of helping their fellow Ethiopians back home.
The organization’s founder and Director General, Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa , an Ethiopian who has lived for 22 years in Russia and Canada said the organization is currently working on the construction of an underground well, costing over half a million birr, in the rural areas surrounding Dukem 37Km east of Addis Ababa. He was also a United Nations Ambassador of Peace from Ethiopia and has traveled to places like Afghanistan and Libya, promoting his charitable works.
“Oromia regional state has conducted an assessment of potential water sources, while Catholic Church Aid has promised to cover the cost,” said Gezahgn.
However he said a road connecting the place where the underground water is located and the 2,500 households needs work, although local residents helped construct a dirt road.
Gezahgn also said he’s looking into help from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and United States Agency for International Aid Development (USAID) to help with his projects.
In 1990, a year before the USSR dissolved; he studied irrigation there and witnessed firsthand economic hardships people there were going through. This is what inspired him to work to make a difference in the lives of others. OGDA plans to continue its charitable work with projects in various health and education projects as well as bringing agriculture technical support teams and programs from Stratford to help Ethiopia’s needy, while still concentrating on the organization’s basic aims of providing clean water access to communities in Afar and Oromia.
The health package program relates to maternity help for expectant and nursing mothers, birth control methods and construction and rehabilitation of clinics and their facilities as well as provision of ambulances. They also will help repair dilapidated schools and provide educational materials.
OGDA currently transports medical professionals from public hospitals such as Empress Zewditu Hospital and Balcha hospital as well as a German funded eye clinic in Addis Ababa to inspect the conditions of patients in the rural areas and transport the patients to the clinics for treatment to treat their ailments.