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Water for all

A trip amongst the Borana

Water as an economic good and not as a basic right of man is a concept that is spreading more and more throughout the world. In many countries the privatization of what is now called “blue gold” is starting to create tensions between the citizens and the multinational water concessionaries. In the dry lands of Oromia, south Ethiopia, the Borana’s, a semi nomad pastoral population, are able to manage their water resources through a community organization that ensures the use of it to everyone without any money exchange involved. Centenary wells known as “singing wells”, dug out in the rock and maintained through an accurate division of voluntary work, allow the survival of this population and of their only resource, the cattle, through the long dry season.

The Borana have already been a study subject for their special social organization (Gada), but it is in this particular time the world is living that they deserve special attention for the extraordinary way they are able to guarantee access to water to all in one of the driest regions on Earth.