• Four men tallie the coffee cherries as they arrive at the Water Wise Coffee wet mill.

    Who owns the Wet Mills?

    May 17, 2015 Comments: 3

    When the wet mills are in operation and scores of people are working washing, drying and sorting the coffee beans it’s easy to forget that there must be an owner behind the scenes, and that person is generally not the ‘Industry Manager’ who is overseeing the workers. The wet mills in the Sidama coffee region... View Article


  • A man picks out bad coffee cherries from the pulping machine.

    The Water Wise Coffee Wet Mills (and Non-Water Wise Coffee Wet Mills)

    May 16, 2015 Comments: 6

    Water Wise Coffee began converting the wet mills along the Kola river in 2012. We started with seven wet mills: Bergona Hagarasodicha Hondobana Borbodo (two sites) Esayas Hameso Lensamo Lamiso Selam Gebre Niguse Yitbarek Tilahun In 2013 a further 10 wet mills joined the program, and another 9 joined in 2014 (these mills are listed... View Article


  • Photo of coffee waste in the Kola River

    The Importance of Water

    May 2, 2015 Comments: 13

    The Water Wise Coffee program is about tackling pollution from coffee waste to provide clean water for local communities, but access to clean water is an imperative for everyone, not just the villagers along the Kola River. Water is one of the most important substances on earth – we need it to live. It makes... View Article


  • Drying racks out in the sun at a Water Wise Coffee wet mill.

    The Drying Process

    May 1, 2015 Comments: 8

    Once the beans have been fermented and washed they need to be dried. In the wet mills along the Kola River this takes place on long wooden drying racks that have been put together in the days before the mill goes into operation. The racks are usually covered with burlap and the beans – which... View Article


  • Photo of woman with her child

    The Community

    April 28, 2015 Comments: 3

    Most of the people who live in the villages along the Kola River are coffee farmers and their families making the success of the coffee crop and the smooth running of the wet mill important to the whole community. The wet mills are important local businesses so, for example, the Dobena Whicho wet mill, a... View Article


  • Two young boys fishing on Lake Awassa at sunset.

    The Official Reaction

    April 27, 2015 Comments: 2

    When villagers complained to local officials in Aletawando about the pollution in the Kola River, the officials would often try to tackle the problem by temporarily closing down the wet mills where the pollution was coming from. This would ease the problem slightly because the wet mill wasn’t processing coffee cherries and the wastewater wasn’t flowing into the... View Article


  • Photo of three kids carrying jerrycans of clean water

    The Children

    April 26, 2015 Comments: 2

    Water has a special relevance for the children in the villages along the Kola River. Many of them go with their mothers to fetch water from the river and carry it in yellow jerrycans back to their homes. But more than that, many of them spend time hanging out with their friends and swimming in... View Article


  • Photo of woman picking coffee cherries.


    April 24, 2015 Comments: 4

    An ambitious goal like cleaning up the whole Kola River requires cooperation. That’s exactly why Water Wise Coffee has partnered with TechnoServe, a US-based nonprofit organization with valuable technical expertise and years of experience supporting coffee farmers in East Africa. Since 1968, TechnoServe has worked with enterprising people in more than 40 developing countries to... View Article


  • Photo of two people working in the wet mill.

    Changing People’s Lives

    March 25, 2015 Comments: 69

    We need water to survive. It is inarguably one of the most important resources we have, so it’s good that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in it. But not all water is the same. Just a few years ago, villagers along the Kola River in Ethiopia’s Sidama coffee region were faced with river water... View Article



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