Your Impact: Iron Roofing

A dry home is one of the most significant improvements that can be made for a rural family. Traditional homes in the countryside have grass roofing that often leaks during the rainy season. As well, the grass used for roofing is not sustainable because grasslands have been reduced by population growth and farm expansion.

Zagray Zubra community members gathered outside Diyene’s new home for coffee.

When Project Ethiopia begins work with a new community, elders and Project Ethiopia leaders determine who is most in need (i.e. widows, the sick, and elderly). These homes receive corrugated metal roofing sections once they have built and plastered the walls of their new structure, often with the help of family and friends.

In 2018, we have provided 57 families (34 of whom are headed by single/widowed women) with iron roofing in the Zagray Zubra community and 22 families in the Zelessa community. Work will continue in Zelessa through the end of the year with the goal of providing iron roofing for 60 the neediest families in the community.

One such recipient of a new home with iron roofing is Diyene. When Project Ethiopia began working in the Zagray Zubra community in 2017, our team identified Diyene as one of the community members most in need of support. She was a widow with no income and no shelter, relying on relatives for a place to live and sleep. Project Ethiopia typically provides 50 sections of iron roofing to recipients who, in turn, provide the additional materials to complete the structure (eucalyptus branches, mud/straw plaster, a door, and nails). In Diyene’s case, we provided 40 sections of iron roofing and used the additional money to cover the remaining items as she had no resources whatsoever to use towards the construction.

Not only did Diyene receive support from Project Ethiopia, but the broader community came together to provide her with a small plot of land on which to build her new home. And their support didn’t stop there. The community also donated eucalyptus wood and many volunteer hours to help construct the building and prepare the mud and straw plaster. As of today, the inside has been fully plastered and with the arrival of the dry season, the community will once again come together to help Diyene complete the exterior plaster. A powerful example of community collaboration and empowerment!

Today, Diyene is very happy to have her own home and recently hosted a gathering with other recipients of metal roofing from Project Ethiopia. We shared coffee and snacks and discussed the next steps in our work together which will include school construction and a new set of clothing for each of the 34 women who were recipients of iron roofing this year.

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