Update on the Power Situation in Soddo

The short version is that we remain without power here in Soddo…

The longer version…

Still no one really seems able to predict how long it will be. Our director thinks we could be back up and running with electricity within two weeks, so we’ve decided to share in his optimism and take it two weeks at a time.

We’ve put together a little analysis of the extra costs that will be accrued to run the children’s home over the next two weeks without any electrical power. Here’s the breakdown:

Gasoline for the office generator

Four liters of gas / day will run the little office generator enough to keep computers charged and the office running. Because none of the fuel stations in town are operating (fuel pumps require electricity), fuel is being brought in by jerry can from out of town by middlemen. This has resulted in increased fuel costs to 26 ETB / liter ($1.51 USD / liter). Thus we will need an extra $85 USD to cover fuel costs for the next two weeks.


Without the electric oven in the kitchen, which is typically used to baking bread daily, the kitchen will require extra firewood. We expect to buy an extra 300 ETB worth of firewood over the next two weeks ($18 USD).

Donkey Water

Because of increased water scarcity and donkey water demand, the cost of donkey water has doubled this weeks from 8 ETB / donkey to 15 ETB. Because we’re now completely reliant on donkey water for all cleaning, cooking, washing and drinking, we’ll need about 14 donkeys worth of water / day. That’s 2,940 ETB for 2 weeks ($171 USD).

A couple of one-time extra expenses

Because its difficult to stagger the arrival of donkey water throughout the day, we’ll need to purchase a couple more large water barrels to hold the water when the donkeys arrive… 500 ETB ($29 USD).

Because the donkey water is now all coming from small streams and surface springs, we’re extra concerned about water quality for drinking. We need to buy a couple more water filters to ensure that the kids are drinking filtered water… 500 ETB ($29 USD).

So the children’s home will need about $330 (USD) extra to cover these unexpected costs for the next 2 weeks. If this problem persists beyond the next 2 weeks, we’ll be updating the blog regarding our on-going needs. If you’re interested in helping with these costs, you can send a check to Aerie Africa at the address below or you can go online and donate at http://www.aerieafrica.org. Either way, if you include the note “Power” with your donation, Aerie will ensure that it gets used to help cover these extra costs. If you have further questions, please feel free to email us (nfhaines@gmail.com or richelle.haines@gmail.com).

On a related note, this week has further enforced our need for a long-term water solution for the children’s home. We’re still awaiting the hydrologist report before we can create a more accurate estimate of total costs, but if you’re interested in donating or helping us to raise funds for this project, please let us know. It is going to require a significant fund-raising effort and we’ll need all the help we can get.

Aerie Africa, Inc.

c/o Robin Browning

2234 South Abbey Loop

New Braunfels, TX 78130

One response to “Update on the Power Situation in Soddo

  1. Just a quick update: As of this morning (Mon., Feb. 6), some limited power has been restored to town. They temporarily connected Soddo to the power line coming from a sub-station further north. The power is spotty and very weak (even with the lights on last night, we had to light a candle to see at dinner). Primary issue remains water… so far the power is not enough for the water dept. to pump water.

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