Empowering communities with safe water, hygiene education, sanitation promotion while encouraging school children to become “change makers” for WASH at thier schools and at home.
Ethiopia, home to 46 million people without access to safe water and 66 million without improved sanitation, is one of only four African countries with less than 50% coverage rates for both improved water sources and improved sanitation facilities. In 2012, only 34% of rural Ethiopians had access to an improved water source and only 25% had access to sanitation and hygiene facilities, according to a report by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme. The same report states that 38 million people in Ethiopia practice open defecation.
As a result of poverty and poor water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions, almost three quarters of health problems in children and communicable disease originates from the environment-unsafe water and poor sanitation. The prevalence of diarrhea is high in this region of Ethiopia and it accounts for 46 per cent of total under-five mortality. Under five mortality rate for rural areas in 2010 was very high - 135 per 1,000 according to WHO. Diarrhea is a leading cause of death for children under five. According to the District Health Survey, over 19% of rural children under 5 years old had diarrhea in the two weeks preceding the survey.
Lack of clean water puts a strain on girls and women, who must fetch water from long distances, sacrificing schooling and hours of time to do so. Because of their vulnerability to opportunistic infections, those infected with HIV/AIDS are at particularly high risk from poor sanitation and unclean water. The low levels of hygiene awareness in the area compound the health risks associated with low water and sanitation coverage levels.
This project will empower communities by increasing their access to safe water supplies and sanitation facilities, WASH training, and capacity building to manage sustainable systems. Lifewater has worked in teh Hadiya Zone with its implementing partner since 2007 on WASH programs.
Community Based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Gibe and Lemu Districts Ethiopia
This 26-month project focuses on improving access to sanitation facilities, coupled with hygiene education. The program implementation is a collaborative effort with a peer, WASH organization, providing drinking water to the project area communities.
Access to improved sanitation is provided by construction of four school latrines with eight doors each, and 25 low-cost demonstration latrines in community market places. Health Extension Workers will train 2,000 households to construct improved household pit latrines using locally available materials.
More than three-thousand students will participate in water, sanitation, and hygiene training at school via health clubs, while 30,000 men, women and children will benefit from hygiene training from community health workers and from training through the local government health posts. Specific topics include hand washing at critical times, safe water storage, and safe fecal disposal.
The project, launched in April 2012, will accomplish the following objectives by June 2014:
1. Provide 16,800 people with access to improved sanitation facilities and hygiene by constructing four (4) school latrines with eight (8) doors each, and building 25 low-cost demonstration latrines using locally available materials in public places. In addition, the project staff will train community health promoters and Health Extension Workers in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), including design and construction of latrines, use and construction of waste disposal pits, and household-friendly hand washing facilities all using local materials. Project staff will train 2,000 households with an average family size of six people.
2. Provide WASH training to 2 schools, benefiting 3,400 students and 2 health facilities, benefiting 30,000 people. Students and teachers will participate in role plays, peer education and community outreach around WASH issues, including menstruation. The project will also distribute hygiene and health promotion booklets in the community.
3. Build local capacity to develop and manage water and sanitation facilities.
In Phase 1, WASH training will be focused on school teachers and community health workers. In Phase 2 CHWs train parents and adults in communities, while teachers implement the program in their schools through health clubs.
The community is being organized in two strategic ways. First, school WASH clubs will be established by school teachers attending Lifewater's WASH In Schools training. A selection of students by teachers will be invited to participate in WASH clubs, with responsbility to take care of the schools latrines, maintain hand washing stations, and teach thier fellow students about WASH, primarily through sharing skits, dramas and poems.
In Ethiopia, it is illegal to provide financial or material assistance for household latrines in order to prevent dependency. Therefore, the community will be organized and educated about WASH through a campaign aimed spefically at santitation. This project staff will construct improved pit latrines in public market places using locally available and appropriate materials, so that households can learn about the design, understand how to build, and properly manage a simple, improved pit latrine of thier own home.
District Water Resource Development Offices at the Woreda level will continue to provide regular monitoring and technical support services during the implementation of the project. They provide experts who work with the implmenting staff on the techncial design and proper constructtion techniques. In collaboration with project staff, District Water Offices will also support teh community-level WASH committees formed as a result of this project in preparing and implementing procedures to manage newly constructed water schemes. The offices will provide technical support to water-users following completion of the construction.
Project-wide community hygiene training will not be conducted as part of the PWX proposal, but is an extremely important part of this WASH. Community health through hygiene focuses on handwashign at critical times, safe water storage and use, and safe fecal disposal. Also included is a special education for adolescent girls in school regarding menstrual management. The project will facilitate education at school by forming girls clubs. Project staff will work with the clubs to discuss best practices of menstrual management in a rural setting, where the necessary facilities are often limited. Discussion topics include psychological preparedness, ensuring personal hygiene, and producing locally made protective pads. Girls will discuss thier current behaviors and practices while they learn to make protective pads from locally available materials. The production will be linked with local small business enterprises to eventually create demand-driven supply at affordable prices. This special program will have an enormous impact on female health and school attendance, as discussion of menstruation is considered taboo locally. Many girls currently do not attend school during their menses, and this program will significantly impact female student's ability to attend school at all times. It is vitally important that girls be told that menstruation is a completely natural and normal process, something they need not be ashamed of if taken care of appropirately.
Gibe and Lemu Woredas/districts are found in Hadiya zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region. The project area lies within the government-declared safety net, a special designation given to high-risk communities for WASH. Both districts have dire water supply, sanitation facilities and hygiene practices.
The project envisages sustaining its outputs and results by ensuring capacity at community and local government level and facilitating technical support from local government offices. The project will ensure lasting attitudinal change through WASH education and promotion in schools.
Metrics include the total number of household latrines constructed; number of school latrines constructed; number of handwashing facilities constructed; number of participants trained; number of school health clubs formed; number of trainings held
Hygiene- community level training, campaigns, schools clubs = 19600
Sanitation - construction at schools, demo latrines, promotion = 22500
Travel/workshops = 27000
Mgmt/direct costs = 17275
Communities will construct household latrines with their own funds, although this is not calculated as part of the project budget.