A Scottish charity project that provides water for an African community twice the size of Motherwell has been praised by the town’s bishop.
Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal, who is SCIAF president, was part of a group that visited a number of settlements in northern Ethiopia.
The lives of the people who live there have been changed by the help given by SCIAF and its supporters in Motherwell and across Scotland.
Bishop Toal was greatly impressed by the work being undertaken in Ethiopia.
Local people dig wells and help install solar panels, creating systems that allow them to pump water to irrigate their crops.
Bishop Toal said: “This was the region affected by the drought and famine over 30 years ago and life remains precarious today as water is scarce.
“This project has guaranteed a regular water supply for a community twice the size of Motherwell.
“It is a great blessing for them and they deeply appreciate the support of SCIAF.”
Last year, the charity directly helped more than 200,000 people in 26 countries affected by hunger, poverty, war, disease and natural disasters.
In Ethiopia, SCIAF is providing ‘cash for work’, working alongside sister charities CAFOD and Trocaire.
This scheme allows vulnerable families to buy food and help their communities to dig and maintain wells and reservoirs to preserve water.
It has also set up saving and loans groups and provides training to help vulnerable communities to set up new businesses.
SCIAF director Alastair Dutton said Bishop Toal had seen some of the best of the charity’s valuable work.
He added: “The solar-powered water system we visited provides water to tens of thousands of people in one of the poorest, hottest, driest places in Africa.
“It’s a clear example of how the incredible generosity of our supporters can make a huge difference to the people who need it most.”
SCIAF’s work in Ethiopia also includes promoting peace between different ethnic groups and providing care and support to thousands of people living with HIV and AIDS.
In 2017, supporters allowed the charity to help some of the world’s poorest people to survive and thrive.
This involved providing emergency supplies following disasters, helping people grow food and earn money and allowing vulnerable children and adults to be educated.