Community Based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Gibe and Lemu Districts Ethiopia
1 location in Ethiopia
Focus: Sanitation - Households; Sanitation - Schools
Implementation dates: April 2, 2012 to June 2, 2014
Planned impact: 18,600 people
Status: Approved - Needs Funding
$86,375 estimated project cost
$22,500 requested
$0 funded to date
Peer Review Average Score: 7.22
9 reviews submitted
11 discussion participants


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




Primary focus:
Sanitation - Households
Secondary focus:
Sanitation - Schools

People Getting Safe Drinking Water


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.

People Getting Sanitation


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.

Schoolchildren Getting Water


People Getting Other Benefits

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.


Application type:
Start date:
April 2, 2012
Completion date:
June 2, 2014

Technology Used

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.

Community Organization

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.

Government Interaction

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.

Ancillary Activities

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.

Other Issues

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.


Maintenance Revenue

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.

Maintenance Cost



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



Private sources

Community Contribution


Communities will construct household latrines with their own funds, although this is not calculated as part of the project budget.

Funds Requested




Reduction of illness
Increasing sanitation facility for the younger generation and for the public is a good cooncept.

While u construct the toilets in 2 schools as 4 scl toilets, what would be the ratio of reduction of illness among the students.

Will the public pay small amount for using the toilet for the maintenance of the toilet.

Will the local people get employment during construction of latrines.

Posted by Juergen Puetz, PALMYRA, on August 20, 2013 at 7:46am
Mr. Puetz, we appreciate your consideration of this program and for your questions.
With regards to reduction of illnesses among students, the program objective is to reduce barriers to school participation by 70%. Indicators for this objective include increasing school enrollment for girls by 25%, decreasing school absenteeism for girls by 40%, and a 50% decrease in the number of children with diarrhea in the previous 2 weeks (from the survey) from baseline to final survey.

Regarding payment, the program will train a WASH committee to be in charge of cleaning and maintenance of the latrines. These are school latrines and will not be used by the public.

Demonstration latrines which are constructed in public places will similarly be managed by community-led committees. The community contributes labor and locally available resources to support construction of these latrines.

Local masons will be hired for construction of the VIP latrines in schools and will be paid based on standard, appropriate wages for the region.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 21, 2013 at 1:09am Submitter Comment
Thank You for your response. It is good that the girl child education ratio is also increasing through sanitation activity.
Posted by Juergen Puetz, PALMYRA, on August 21, 2013 at 9:51am
Funds Requested is nearer to 25%.
What would be the possibility of mobilizing funds for remaining 75% of the project amount
Posted by Juergen Puetz, PALMYRA, on August 20, 2013 at 7:51am
Great question, Juergen, and understandable concern. This $22,500 is actually the only remaining amount that Lifewater needs to fully fund the program. We are very hopeful and excited that with these funds, the program will be able to be fully implemented and will bring deep change and improved health to thousands of children, men, and women, in accordance with the program plan.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 21, 2013 at 6:08pm Submitter Comment

How do u mobilize the balance amount of 63875? Do u have some other project fund in yr organisation or what are the other sources of funding. Could u pl. explain.
Posted by Juergen Puetz, PALMYRA, on August 22, 2013 at 4:10am
Lifewater gets most of its funding from individual donations, but also receives significant funds from foundations, government, churches, businesses, schools, and civic groups.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 22, 2013 at 10:34pm Submitter Comment
oh. good. Thanks,

Posted by Juergen Puetz, PALMYRA, on September 2, 2013 at 10:36am
Hi. I'm not sure I understand. It sounds as if this project has already (started in April) begun yet you don't have all the funding needed to complete? How much funding for the $86k project has already been committed? Thanks
Posted by Chris Bessenecker, PCI, on September 11, 2013 at 10:51pm
Hi Chris,
Your concern is the same as Juergen Puetz exressed, I believe. This grant would complete the funding needed for the program. This program is close to 75% funded. Lifewater is hopeful that a grant from PeerWater would secure the remaining funds for the program. Thank you for your interest, and I'm happy to answer any further questions you have.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on September 27, 2013 at 5:09pm Submitter Comment
budget, local contributions and maintenance, etc.
This is quite an interesting proposal on several levels, not the least of which is Ethopia, which I imagine is not an easy environment to work in. I appreciate the concept of model latrines geared towards encouraging people to build their own in the medium term.

Some questions:

1. The budget attached in PDF doesn't match the financial tab. It leaves me with more questions than answers. For example, in the PDF, a workshop is budgeted at $13,660 - we do many workshops here for around $600-700 usually, for 30 people. Are these workshops much bigger, or what is the concept? I am sure I am missing something here. Also, the funds requested and the co-funding amount do not add to the total cost. You will be short a few thousand - what is the plan to cover this gap?
2. Although I applaud the concept of encouraging people to build their own latrines, the $0 of community contribution is concerning. If there is no contribution locally from the community and/or local government, where is their motivation to take care of the project into the long term? We find school projects in particular to suffer the most in terms of maintenence needs and many schools, with the change in staff, have trouble keeping up on the maintenance. Have you seen these problems in schools you have worked on? What plans do you have to mitigate this? I notice that your maintenance cost is $0. I don't imagine that is true, but perhaps you mean that the maintenance cost for BPN is $0. Please tell us more about your plans for sustainability of these projects.
3. What follow-up is planned to ensure a good percentage of the 2,000 households actually build latrines?
4. The proposal talks about 4 school latrines of 8 doors each. Does that mean 32 units for the children? If there are 3,400 students, that is still more than 100 students per unit. Here the national standard is 1 latrine per 30 students. What is the national standard in Ethopia?
5. School WASH clubs I've heard has been a successful model in schools (not one seen here in Nicaragua though). What has your experience been with them, what can you share with us? How have they proved successful in your previous projects? What are the keys to success for SWCs?
6. Have you planned any metrics around how many of the 2,000 households actually build latrines? Have you any metrics around longevity, i.e. after 2 or 5 years, how many are still functioning?
Posted by Rob Bell, El Porvenir, on August 20, 2013 at 5:10pm
Rob, thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this program and taking the time to read carefully through it. I will address your questions individually below.
1. I appreciate you bringing up this issue. Since the program began in April 2012, we have been able to see some cost-savings which have allowed us to revise the budget. Unfortunately on older version of the budget was attached, hence your confusion. To clarify things, I removed the former budget which had been fully-costed (this was the reason the trainings were budgeted higher than you expected) and have replaced it with a more detailed budget which separates out management from direct program activities. Also, because of a decision to reduce our fund request from PWX, the co-funding amount appeared incorrect and I have changed that as well. Again, thank you for bringing these to our attention and we apologize for the confusion.

2. While there is no community financial contribution, the community does contribute significantly through providing locally available materials for personal and communal latrine construction, and unskilled labor as well. Between this non-financial gift-in-kind contribution as well as the promotion and training which are incorporated throughout the program, Lifewater has found high levels of community engagement and ownership. Lifewater’s WASH in Schools programs have found similar success in sustainability. In fact, the Ethiopian government noticed the impressive results of Lifewater’s WASH in Schools program and will be replicating it in 54 other schools in one region. One of the reasons we believe the programs are so successful is the full WASH engagement, rather than one-off well drillings or latrine constructions. Communities are immersed with hygiene trainings through a training-of-trainer strategy, meaning that local health workers, government officials, and teachers are all trained to promote hygiene and sanitation in the community. Teachers are equipped to form WASH clubs in their schools which then not only train their fellow students and manage the WASH facilities, but also go into the community to train their families and friends. Through this, Lifewater has found success in its programs. If you are interested in learning more about our training programs, please feel free to email me and we can discuss further.
3. Lifewater works with local government-appointed community health workers who assist with monitoring community impact. This monitoring is followed up by a final program evaluation and post-program evaluation within 3 years after the program’s completion.
4. The standard in Ethiopia is 1 latrine per 25 girls and per 50 boys. These latrines are built to be an addition to latrines which are already present in order to bring the school closer to the national standard. Lifewater realizes that in some cases more latrines may be required, however the program has been designed this way based on information from our local partner that the government will be constructing some latrines as well, although the date is not yet known. The reference to 3,400 students is referring to those counted as hygiene, not sanitation, beneficiaries.
5. We have found our model to be very successful in Cambodia, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Zambia (see my answer to question 2 for more details). Again, please feel free to email me with for a detailed explanation. Unfortunately there is too much information for this forum.
6. These numbers are based on actual results we've seen in previous programs in Ethiopia. Again, the results will be monitored by local health officials as well as in a final and post-program evaluation.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 21, 2013 at 2:16am Submitter Comment
Thanks for your response.

1. Now the numbers add up, that's better. The workshop costs are much less in this one, and seem reasonable - how many people and how many days is the teacher's workshop, for example?
2. In my mind, materials contribution is as good as cash, and I would include an estimate of the value of these materials and their transport if LWI had to purchase them. Maybe you don't want to mess with your number here anymore, but for the future. Makes a random reviewer like me think you don't have a community contribution component, which is one of the keys to sustainability. Glad to hear you are building on previous success and using a train-the-trainer model. We also use a train-the-trainer model for our hygiene program.
4. How many students will be beneficiaries of the sanitation program then?
6. What is your goal for community built latrines of the 2,000 households? How many do you expect will build them?

Thanks, Rob
Posted by Rob Bell, El Porvenir, on August 21, 2013 at 6:36pm
1. The WASH training for teachers is 9 days including 1 day of field visits. Participants included 17 teachers, 2 partner staff, and 1 Ethiopian government education officer.
2. We appreciate your input on this, Rob, and it is something Lifewater is moving towards for all of our programs.
4. Lifewater estimates that 1,200 students will benefit from these latrines, based on Ethiopian government standards. In addition to these 1,200 primary beneficiaries, Lifewater estimates that 1,600 students will benefit from the new latrines as secondary beneficiaries who will benefit even though the numbers exceed government ratios.
6. The goal is that 2,000 households will each construct a latrine in their compound.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 22, 2013 at 11:32pm Submitter Comment
1. That makes sense now. We do 1.5 day workshops, but we do 5 of them. So if I add all of mine up, the costs come out more similarly.
6. Very ambitious! I look forward to seeing the reports afterwards to see how effective it has been. If it works, then maybe we can convince the government here to look at it as well.
Posted by Rob Bell, El Porvenir, on August 23, 2013 at 9:28pm
Governance and maintenance

I am convinced that your initiative will make a big impact on school attendance, especially on the part of girls, as well as on the health of schoolchilden and the wider community

Posted by Rosemary O'Mahony, 1001 fontaines, on August 21, 2013 at 10:18am
Thank you very much! We are looking forward to the impact in schools and the wider community.
Posted by Pamela Crane, Lifewater International, on August 23, 2013 at 6:30pm Submitter Comment
Governance and maintenance
Apologies for my truncated comment above - I pressed the wrong button. Your responses to Juergen's and Bob's questiona already answered many of the questions that I had. I would just like to understand in more detail the governance model that you implement to ensure that the school latrines are kept clean and well-maintained, so that they do not fall into disuse ? Thank you and best wishes. Rosemary.
Posted by Rosemary O'Mahony, 1001 fontaines, on August 21, 2013 at 10:25am
Thank you, Rosemary, for your encouragement and interest. School latrine maintenance and proper use in left in the charge, ultimately, of the school staff and, specifically, with the teacher(s) leading the School Wash Club. We have seen different models at different schools, including the students in the School WASH Club maintaining the latrines, or various classrooms operating on a rotating basis. Lifewater is intentional in training teachers that maintenance of latrines should not be used as a punishment for students, yet we have found in most cases that it is seen as a privilege which the students in the wash club (a voluntary club) take on proudly.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 21, 2013 at 6:28pm Submitter Comment
Julie, thank you very much for your response. It seems that you have been able to find some effective and creative ways to manage the cleaning and maintenance issues. I like the idea of the School WASH Clubs, since I imagine that they raise the profile of the importance of WASH and create peer pressure to maintain the latrines.
Posted by Rosemary O'Mahony, 1001 fontaines, on August 21, 2013 at 8:57pm
Financial support of households and safe water supply

Your proposal is quite interesting, particularly because it is largely based on training and building local capacities. Juergen, Rob and Rosemary have highlighted many significant points already, so I’ll just add a couple of questions.

1 – Constructing demonstration latrines appears like a promising concept when it comes to empower people to building their own individual latrines. I am just concerned about their financial capacity to do so. Do you plan any financial support, to facilitate their purchase of material for instance?
2 - The proposal mentions a partner organization providing drinking water to the communities. Could you briefly specify what is the intervention planned for safe water access from a technical and economic model perspective?

Posted by Hélène Lefebvre, 1001 fontaines, on August 21, 2013 at 12:01pm
Helene, thank you, and we are also excited about this strategy due to the success we have had over the past thirty years as we have implemented and refined the quality of our program strategy and building of local capacity.
1- Indeed, this is a effective strategy for empowering people to build their own latrines, which increases the local knowledge of how to construct latrines and makes the behavior change that much more sustainable. Lifewater does not financially support household latrine construction, and it is actually an Ethiopian government requirement that organizations do not do so. In a previous program in Ethiopia we found that through this strategy of demonstration latrines and sanitation promotion, household latrine coverage increased from 13% to 87% in four years in a region of 675,000 people. In Uganda, we found similar success with an increase in latrine coverage from 59% to 94% in just one year. Given these and other past successes, we are confident in the effectiveness of our strategy.
2- The water interventions include 1 shallow well, 1 borehole and distribution system, 5 capped springs, 3 maintained/repaired springs, 2 hand pump repairs, and 1 spring capping with a gravity distribution system. These are funded by WaterAid Ethiopia and the community contributes unskilled labor and local resources to support construction.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 21, 2013 at 6:58pm Submitter Comment
Have you explored the use of CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) model? We've used it quite successfully in Ethiopia and Indonesia. It works particularly well in communities where they must carry the entire burden for building and using their own latrines.
Posted by Chris Bessenecker, PCI, on September 11, 2013 at 11:07pm
Yes, Lifewater has used the CLTS model in Ethiopia and are now beginning to use it in Uganda. We have seen a lot of success with the program, and are exploring ways to ensure that the dramatic changes, which often happens quickly, is sustained over the years. If you have any experience with CLTS over the course of several years, I would love to learn about your strategies. In all programs, Lifewater requires communities to "carry the entire burden" as you say, whereby we promote sanitation and show people how to construct latrines, but do not construct or financially support household latrine construction. This certainly helps improve the household ownership and sustainability.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on September 27, 2013 at 5:14pm Submitter Comment
Market Health Clubs
I think this is a very viable project worth supporting as approaching community in conjunction with schools is a very sustainable strategy. I see you are also wanting to put in 25 market demonstration latrines. In our experience public latrines are a disaster unless adequate systems are in place to keep them clean. We have had some great community participation by starting Market Health Clubs (similar to School/Community health clubs) and with enough weekly meetings over a six month period, the market sellers take real ownership of the latrine facilities and ensure general hygiene of food handling in the markets stalls. Obviously markets stalls can be a major highway of cholera and it is a cost effective and worthwhile way to control public health through food outlets. If you would like to hear more about some of the urban Health Clubs that Zimbabwe AHEAD has been doing in 5 small towns it might be worth while to look on our website www.africaahead.com. For example in 2008, in one of the worst cholera outbreaks in Africa, there was expected to be a real problem in a cholera-prone town with a market place close to the Mozambique border where they were expecting cholera to take hold, but thanks to starting many Community Health Clubs and Market Health Clubs as well as School Health Clubs, cholera was averted. The small addition of MHCs to your proposal could streamline your interface with community and ensure that the communal latrines are properly used and maintained.
Dr. Juliet Waterkeyn
Africa AHEAD
Posted by Juliet Waterkeyn, Africa AHEAD, on August 21, 2013 at 6:21pm
It is always good to learn about other programs and consider if/how successful strategies can be integrated. Thank you for this input.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 23, 2013 at 12:00am Submitter Comment
This is a very interesting and impressive proposal. I enjoyed reading through it! I found it very interesting that NGO's are not allowed to provide funds or materials for latrines. Have you seen evidence of increased ownership in this type of a situation versus ownership in an area where some financial or material assistance was provided?

With regards to the school latrines- are these gender specific? For the demonstration latrines, I am interested to know where in the community these are placed and who maintains them. Should someone in the village want to know how to proceed with building their own latrine based upon the community latrines, who would they reach out to?
Posted by Carolyn Meub, Pure Water for the World, on August 21, 2013 at 8:16pm
Lifewater does not financially support any household latrine construction unless it is for the purpose of a demonstration latrine. As I shared with Helene above, we have see significant evidence of ownership through this method. We have not been able to compare this methodology with other programs in the same region, since the regulation is across Ethiopia.

Each VIP latrine in a school will have 8 doors divided by a wall, out of which 4 latrine stalls will serve girls and 4 will serve boys.

For the demonstration latrines, the specific location is determined in collaboration by the community, community leaders, Lifewater's local partner, and the health workers. Latrines are placed in rural open parket areas, churches, mosques, village administrative offices, and along paths. The latrines are overseen and maintained by community WASH Committee and volunteer households living nearby the latrine. Community members interested in constructing a latrine can be trained by Lifewater's partner field staff, by local government health workers who have been trained by Lifewater staff, and by other households who have been trained in latrine design and construction. In each Kebele (village) there are a few households who will participate in Lifewater's Latrine Design and Construction course as well as other WASH trainings and they are responsible to assist others in their community. Monthly village-level meetings identify households without latrines and plan together how to increase latrine coverage so that every households has constructed and uses a latrine.

Please let me know if this makes sense, or if there is any additional clarification we can add.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 30, 2013 at 7:37pm Submitter Comment
Capacity building, maintenance, and sustainability
I’ve arrive to the conversation a little late and consequently most of my concerns have been addressed by the rest of the crew. I agree that it seems like an interesting proposal. Your project is a large initiative and predicted to make a profound impact. I appreciate your unique focus on girls groups, and how these topics and participants are dealt with separately (through the formation of girls clubs). I believe this approach will lend to more meaningful results among girls.
Most of my additional questions are not in attempt to critique your project but rather learn from your efforts. I agree that the budget is a little confusing regarding the number of workshops being offered. I am really interested in how you will train the teachers, the workers at the health clubs and health centers and the community health workers. What does the project have in place as far as incentives to ensure their sustainability in their role? How will the project measure their activities and the effectiveness of their efforts in the communities and the schools? Also, can you please give more details regarding the actual training program (# of workshops, length of program, and content of trainings)? How often do the WASH and girls clubs meet? Are they only facilitated by local actors or are they supported by program staff as well?
You mentioned that the project will construct new school latrines that supplement the ones already in place. What are the state of the older latrines? Has the school had any success in keeping them clean and functioning? I also am concerned about teacher turnover as well as the sustainability of the WASH club as trained students graduate or lose motivation to attend. What are the incentives for students to be part of the WASH club and for new students to join after the project cycle is over? Also, can you provide models of both the school and demonstration pit latrines? I would also like to learn more about the maintenance of the public latrines.
Best of luck and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Posted by Katie Chandler, Etta Projects, on August 21, 2013 at 8:17pm
Katie, in order to be sure not to miss any of your questions, I have posted both the question and my response below:

1. I agree that the budget is a little confusing regarding the number of workshops being offered. Does the updated attached budget help, or is it still unclear? I am happy to provide further clarification if any is needed.
2. I am really interested in how you will train the teachers, the workers at the health clubs and health centers and the community health workers. Teachers and community health workers will participate in trainings facilitated by either Lifewater staff or Lifewater’s partner staff, after they have been trained by Lifewater.
3. What does the project have in place as far as incentives to ensure their sustainability in their role? Sustainability in the roles of teachers and community health workers is extremely important. Incentives for teachers and community health workers, however, come from outside the program. Teachers are nominated by their head teacher to represent their school in attending health trainings and leading the school health club. This is both an honor and a status recognition for teachers, just as many teachers in the US lead various school clubs without being offered ulterior incentives. Because teachers are often transferred by the government to other schools, they are responsible for teaching their fellow teachers what they learn in the training. Community health workers, on the other hand, are government employees which provides the sustainability needed for a successful and impactful program.
4. How will the project measure their activities and the effectiveness of their efforts in the communities and the schools? Teachers and community health workers regularly report activities and updates, for example number of household latrines and handwashing facilities constructed, to the local partner field staff. Communities and schools are also monitored through site visits by both Lifewater’s partner staff and Lifewater staff. Effectiveness is evaluated through baseline and final evaluations which measure knowledge of hygiene behaviors, sanitation facilities and practice, hand washing facilities, and other water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related indicators both in schools and in households.
5. Also, can you please give more details regarding the actual training program (# of workshops, length of program, and content of trainings)? Training for teachers and health workers are generally 10 day workshops. This program involves two community health worker workshop and one teacher workshop. Content is detailed, and Lifewater is working to make our curriculum available for download on our new website which will be coming soon (www.lifewater.org). Generally speaking, the content includes critical knowledge for keeping water safe, creating open defecation free communities, handwashing, how diseases are spread and key blocking methods. The workshops go into detail to prepare participants to be able to teach others this life-saving knowledge.
6. How often do the WASH and girls clubs meet? School clubs meeting schedules are determined by individual schools and range from twice weekly to once monthly.

7. Are they only facilitated by local actors or are they supported by program staff as well? School clubs are facilitated by teachers only, with program staff supported through site visits for monitoring and encouraging but not as a leadership role within the club.

8. You mentioned that the project will construct new school latrines that supplement the ones already in place.
What are the state of the older latrines? Has the school had any success in keeping them clean and functioning? The state of the older latrines vary from school to school. Unfortunately, some of the older school latrines were constructed poorly and not lined and have thus been determined to be unsafe due to risk of collapse. Other schools’ latrines are functional although inadequate in number.
I also am concerned about teacher turnover as well as the sustainability of the WASH club as trained students graduate or lose motivation to attend. Please see my response to your question regarding incentives for teachers.
9. What are the incentives for students to be part of the WASH club and for new students to join after the project cycle is over? The program is led by school teachers, so does not change during the program or after its completion. It would be interesting to research in depth the motivations of students in the WASH clubs. Lifewater does not have this research, however school health clubs are common in many countries and in Lifewater’s experience we have not had any reason for concern over incentives or new students joining. Students seem to enjoy the opportunity to teach other students and people in their community what they are learning. The club hosts skits, songs, competitions, and other creative methods for informing people of health and hygiene. These are both informative and fun.
10. Also, can you provide models of both the school and demonstration pit latrines? I will upload photos for you to see the school and household latrines.
11. I would also like to learn more about the maintenance of the public latrines. Please see my response to Jamin’s questions.

Thank you for the encouragement!
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on August 30, 2013 at 9:10pm Submitter Comment
Wonderful Q/A
Dear All,

I've learned so much from this Q/A chain! Thank you for the thoughtful questions and detailed replies.

Posted by Dipti Vaghela, Team Blue, on September 9, 2013 at 5:08am
Thank you Dipti!
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on September 27, 2013 at 5:15pm Submitter Comment
Impact - Sustainability
The metrics for impact and sustainability don't really demonstrate either. They are primarily an indications that construction occurred and trainings were conducted. How will you know whether or not your project had any impact and/or achieved your desired results?
Posted by Chris Bessenecker, PCI, on September 16, 2013 at 9:08pm
Great question, Chris. Lifewater is still getting used to the Metrics section of PeerWater's platform. The metrics you are referring to are the regular updates we track from communities. You are correct that these measure output rather than achievement of the goal. The program, as Lifewater is involved, is seeking to reduce incidence of diseases related to poor water and sanitation conditions by 50% and reduce barriers to school participation by 70%. Indicators of these objectives are % of children with diarrhea in previous 2 weeks, school enrollment numbers for girls, school absenteeism numbers for girls, % of respondents who practice correct handwashing,% of respondents who practice correct personal hygiene, % of households having correct knowledge of personal hygiene, % of households practicing safe water storage, # of households with improved latrines, and % of households where all members use latrine. These are a few of the indicators which are measured in a program baseline and final evaluation which will indicate the program's impact and achievement of desired results. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Posted by Julie Smith, Lifewater International, on September 27, 2013 at 5:33pm Submitter Comment


This project clearly addresses a critical need and buids on approaches, which have been used successfully by Lifewater to ensure that the latrines are used and maintained. I would like to see some additional focus on capturing metrics that demonstrate the impact on health, the number of latrines that have been properly maintained following initial construction and the number of new latrines that have been constructed by the villagers themselves, as a result of the demonstrations and training programmes.
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The proposal is well-written and the approach good.

However, the response about sustainability and metrics made me rethink. While PWX MetriX is a new feature, tracking a project should not depend on the tool. Sustainability and measuring outcomes should be part of the thinking and planning.

There were many references to success of the approach in past projects. However, it would be nice to have stronger documentation. Even in the LWI projects funded thru PWX, we have noticed a lack of effort and rigor in measuring and tracking the impact and the evolution of the project.

Our relationship with LWI goes way back, and i know many projects have not turned out as designed. It is now time to add long-term rigor to the ability to fundraise and raise the quality of the entire sector.
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I think the model of having the families build their own latrines is excellent, I look forward to seeing the results!
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I appreciate all the thoughtful answers to the questions and the well detailed proposal. I have some concerns regarding both the sustainability of demonstration latrines as well as the long-term impact of the education component.
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It is very essential for every human being.


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From reading this proposal and the question and answer segment, this project looks like one that will benefit many children and community members. It includes a strong hygiene program and also builds local capacity through engaging with beneficiaries and local partners. These are essential in working towards a sustainable project.
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I would support using schools as the main entry point for health and hygiene especially in countries like Ethiopia where the school is the focus of most families. I would however like to recommend more linkage between the school and the community with interaction between school and community health clubs so that the benefits are linked institutionally not only using school children as individual change agents. It is also encouraging that Lifewater has been in the same area for 6 years already and is constantly extenting its reach so enabling communities to learn from each other. It would be good to see a more holistic approach to disease burden as diarrhoea is one of many issues that can be tackled in a project at schools, malnutrition leading to stunting and slow development being most important, as well as worms, skin disease, malaria and bilharzia which all would assist to increase children's health and development. As far as it goes the proposal is good but gave it a 7 as it could be more integrated.
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This project is excellent in many ways:

1. Co-funding
2. Thought-out approach
3. Involvement of government and local stakeholders
4. Context of need.
5. Built in way for domino effect of spreading their success to others. (Hopefully it works!)
6. Great ability to explain approach.
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I didn't receive a response to my question and I know the deadline is approaching. I don't feel I can recommend as I don't feel sustainability and impact has really been addressed.
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