Updated: Tuesday 25 June 2013

CMP artisan trainees interviewed

Tarekegn Elias, Dinku Fantu and Lidetu Teshome are three newly selected artisan trainees of the Gumay woreda in Jimma zone, Oromia region. They applied for the artisan training that was advertised by the Woreda Water Office and with 5 other men and 2 women they passed the qualifications and are now ready to start thetheoretical and practical trainings. The training is part of the Community Managed Project (CMP) approach that was initiated in the woreda this year.

The age difference between these artisan trainees is seemingly clear: Tarekegn is 30 years old, Dinku 22 and the young Lidetu only 18 years old. The interview with the trainees is presented below:

Question: How did you decide to become an artisan?

Tarekegn: I wanted to show my talent. And since water supply systems are visible to everybody, I can easily demonstrate the quality of my work in this way. I am graduated in masonry but so far I have no previous experience in water construction works. I know the quality of my construction works is very good.

Dinku: As a young boy contractors gave me some work in digging trenches. I enjoyed the physical work and now I am a Technical &Vocational Education and Training College (TVETC) masonry graduate with experience in many sorts of construction works: house roofs, bridges, offices. However, I always wanted to work with water works, but previously there were no opportunities in our woreda.

Lidetu: I have seen the work of other artisans and it sparked my interest in this profession. The idea of constructing something tangible makes me happy.

All the trainees have the strong support of their families to pursue the profession of an artisan.When asked about the challenges they might face in the future when working closely with the communities, none of the trainees showed any sign of fear. They all claim to have strong social skills and a common language to communicate with the community members. However, their confidence of success is based on different things:

Tarekegn: I used to be a soldier and I am physically very strong. As I am very sociable, I don’t expect any man-made problems to come on my way. Natural challenges, on the other hand, will come for sure but those will just make me stronger.

Dinku: I have a lot of working experience with contractors without any problems, so I don’t expect many difficult situations in the future either.

Lidetu: As I have spent most of my life in the rural communities, I know how to survive in challenging conditions. I am not afraid at all.

Tarekegn adds on Lidetu's comment: I have seen him, he is very, very fast. He will not have any problems I can assure to you!

Tarekegn further wanted to convey a message to encourage women to actively apply to become artisans. "Women are so strong, even stronger than men! They will be excellent artisans I am sure about that. I hope there will be many women in this artisan training", he expressed.

All the three trainees see their future as an artisan very bright and they expect their life to be changed for better. Tarekegn dreams of becoming a contractor one day. Dinku, on the other hand, knows he will be a good water works professional. He really wants to change the area into a better place and he is committed to positively change the lives of other people.

The COWASH project wishes Tarekegn, Dinku and Lidetu all the best in their future career and life!

The interview was conducted in the town of Toba (Gumay woreda, Jimma zone, Oromia region) on 13th March 2013 during a supportive supervision visit by the COWASH project team.

From left to right: Tarekegn, Lidetu and Dinku