Irfa Primary School

Irfa is located in an arid lowland area of Ethiopia where communities are particularly vulnerable. They depend on unreliable rains for their livelihoods, often experiencing drought. They are susceptible to crop failures, livestock losses and often do not have enough food.

Irfa Primary school was constructed almost 20 years ago by a British NGO. It was unique in its design, with classrooms built as two large round tukul buildings using only local materials. Whilst beautiful hand-smoothed stones were used on the surrounding walls, the traditional materials used on the inside had become decimated by termites and the harsh climate. It was going to collapse.

With the support of an incredibly enthusiastic community, each stone was removed and then reused, in a clever design that maximised existing foundations and materials. In 2019, the new six sustainably built classrooms reopened and now provide a cool haven for over 700 students.

Plus, our UK-based project partners, Lalibela Trust began work to enable a nearby water reservoir to provide reliable safe water to the area.