Chinese organizations have distributed much-needed clean and sanitary water facilities to selected primary schools in southern Ethiopia.

The five air-water generators were jointly donated by Tsinghua University China-Africa Leadership Development Institute (CALDI), HurRain NanoTech team and China Foundation for Rural Development (CFRD), the former China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, according to a joint statement by the Chinese organizations sent to Xinhua.

The facilities, which were distributed across selected primary schools in Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) Region of Ethiopia, namely the Key-Afer, Tulungo, Sitimba, Turmi and Demeka primary schools, will provide some 2,106 young Ethiopian students with clean and sanitary water.

The facilities were officially distributed in the presence of the former Ethiopian first lady Roman Tesfaye, local Ethiopian government officials including South Omo Zone Education Department Head Weli Haile, as well as senior representatives from the Chinese side.

As Ethiopia and countries in the Horn of Africa are facing the worst drought in decades, where the consequences of lack of rain in many rainy seasons are exacerbated by conflicts, climate change, locust infestations and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many experts emphasize that urgent humanitarian assistance are needed.

Initiated by CALDI and supported by CFRD, the initiative conducted by a team of concerned experts has modified the innovative water purification solution with graphene-enabling filters, and designed a specific energy-efficient type of air-water generator effective with Ethiopian local weather.

The team worked overtime for the prototype and made the equipment ready far in advance of the schedule, according to the statement.

Despite the difficulties caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the donated facilities arrived in Ethiopia and passed several rounds of quality tests by the Ethiopian Food and Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health.

The air-water generator, which absorbs moisture from the air and produces sanitary water by simply plugging in, is introduced firstly in Ethiopia. The technology brings tangible benefits to local people, according to the statement.

Such equipment “is very suitable for the climatic conditions in SNNP region, and children can drink safely,” said Roman Tesfaye, the former first lady of Ethiopia, during a ceremony held to mark the distribution of the latest technology. “Ethiopia is suffering from drought and water shortage, this high-tech, zero waste, no-plastic-bottle-waste water purification solution, will directly help schools and communities.”