Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Nearly a quarter of Addis residents lack toilets

ADDIS ABABA, 20 April 2010 (IRIN) – Almost a quarter of Addis Ababa residents have no access to toilets, says a new report by the Addis Ababa city authorities.

“We estimate that some three million people live in Addis Ababa. Out of this nearly 25 percent of the population have no access to toilets and defecate in rivers crossing the city” the report says.

“We cannot tolerate any more waste in rivers and roads. We should be ashamed. We want to make sure that the city is clean and a better place to live,” said Mekuria Haile, a senior local government official, at the launch of the report entitled:  Cleaning and Beautifying Addis Ababa: Intensifying Environmental and Health Issues with Public Participation.

“Addis Ababa is one of the biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa… but is still fighting against solid waste management and health problems posed by unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation,” said Haile.

The outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) which hit most parts of the city in August 2009 “was the result of poor sanitation and hygiene, coupled with solid waste from the city” the report said.

“I cannot trust the water that comes through a pipeline since that outbreak. I boil my water every day before serving my family,” said Senait Habte, a resident of the city’s Kolfe Keraniyo slum.

“My relatives in rural Ethiopia live a better life than us in the city. They have good toilets and access to safe drinking water. Seems like the government has forgotten us,” she told IRIN, adding: “There are continuous electricity blackouts. Sometimes we don’t have water for five days. Life is becoming difficult in Addis nowadays.”

Public relations chief at the Water Resources Ministry Bizuneh Tolcha told IRIN nearly 66 percent of the Ethiopian population has access to safe drinking water and 56 percent has access to a latrine.
“According to our water tests, the water in Addis is very clean but the problem is contamination due to its unsafe use,” Tolcha told IRIN.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 60-80 percent of the current disease burden in Ethiopia is attributable to environmental health risks, which include poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation.

US-based NGO Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partners have been promoting an ecological toilet called the ArborLoo, designed by Zimbabwean Peter Morgan specifically for African conditions. It serves both as a basic toilet and makes use of excreta for growing fruit trees.

The AborLoo is a single pit shallow compost toilet 1.0-1.5m deep comprising a ring beam, slab and structure.

“Each concrete toilet slab costs US$7-20 and anyone can use it. It best suits the elderly and disabled people. You can dig it in half a day and can also plant trees on it,” says Bekele Abaire, programme manager at the CRS office in Ethiopia.

During use, fly and odour problems are reduced by regularly adding soil, wood ash and leaves to the excreta in the pit. Once full, the old toilet site is covered with soil and left to compost with the parts of the toilet being moved to another place, rebuilt and used in the same way again.

A tree is planted on the old site, preferably at the start of the rainy season, after the old pit contents have composted for a while.

“All of my family used to defecate at the back of our house or in an open field. This is the case everywhere in our `kebele’ [district]; it is normal. We now understand that latrines are important for our hygiene and health. ArborLoo has helped us a lot. We plant fruits, vegetables, trees and above all we are safe from acute watery diarrhoea and other diseases,” said Seid Abdo who is now using ArborLoo in Arsi Zone, Oromiya Regional State.

“Many communities achieved 100 percent sanitation coverage in areas that had 1 percent or less [coverage] before the project. And surprisingly none of these areas were affected by AWD, while others suffered from it,” Bekele told IRIN.

“We are trying to implement more eco toilet projects in Addis Ababa. We want to scale it up in urban areas like Addis Ababa and Adama but we are challenged by lack of adequate policy and lack of funding,” Bekele told IRIN.

Source – http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=88861

Household pit latrines and child health in rural Ethiopia

Does ‘improved’ sanitation make children healthier? Household pit latrines and child health in rural Ethiopia, February 2009. (pdf, 352KB)

Lita Cameron. Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK

In response to pressure to reach the Millennium Development Goal of improved sanitation access, the  E thiopian government has developed an ambitious plan to achieve 100 per cent access to pit latrines by 2012. The plans to achieve this target rely upon the assumption that universal access to pit latrines will lead to improved health outcomes. Using the Young Lives pro-poor longitudinal data of Ethiopian children, this research uses propensity score matching to test this assumption.

Children who experienced a change from no toilet to a household pit latrine between rounds of data collection were compared to those who continue to use a forest/field. The findings show that there is no significant difference between groups in terms of health outcomes and that a pit latrine does not necessarily signal improved methods of waste disposal.

Individual and group interviews conducted by Young Lives suggest that poor infrastructure and care for pit latrines deter children from using such facilities and promote a preference for the use of other methods of waste disposal. Policy makers should note that simply increasing access to pit latrines will not necessarily promote better health outcomes, especially when ‘improved’ sanitation appears to be less clean than other available options.

USAID Global Development Alliance – Safe Drinking Water Alliance

USAID Global Development Alliance. (2010). Safe Drinking Water Alliance – Experiences in Haiti, Ethiopia, and Pakistan: Lessons for future water treatment programs.

Full-text: http://www.ehproject.org/PDF/ehkm/gda2010.pdf

To address some of the challenges created by lack of access to safe water, in 2004, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Development Alliance (GDA) brought together Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), Population Services International (PSI), CARE USA, and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to create the Safe Drinking Water Alliance (SDWA). The general goal of the Alliance was to test three marketing models to increase demand for water treatment and to identify the potential of P&G’s PUR in each model as an alternative POU technology. PUR is a household-based water treatment product that combines disinfection with removal of dirt and other pollutants and transforms turbid contaminated water into clear, potable water. The three models tested by the SWDA included:

(1) a commercial marketing model with full cost recovery in Pakistan;
(2) a social marketing model where some promotional costs were subsidized in Haiti; and
(3) an emergency relief model in Ethiopia.

In Pakistan and Haiti a combination of behavior change communication activities and PUR-branded messages and materials were disseminated to increase the demand for water treatment and to introduce PUR. In both countries, CCP led the behavior change campaigns, while in Haiti PSI handled the specific promotion and distribution of PUR. In Pakistan, P&G focused on creating demand for PUR. In Ethiopia, CARE staff working in the Community-Based Therapeutic program were fully in charge of introducing PUR and providing the motivation and information for its use.

In all three contexts SDWA partners also studied barriers and facilitators to sustained water treatment behaviors, as well as reactions to and use of PUR specifically. Findings have clear programmatic relevance, and add to the emerging literature on water treatment behavior and the adoption of new technologies, and particularly provide insights about feasible directions for PUR.

Sanitation/water photos from Benin, Kenya, Ethiopia & Indonesia – Jay Graham/USAID


You are invited to view Jay’s photo album: Environmental Health Photos: Benin, Kenya, Ethiopia and Indonesia (2009):

Ethiopia: Sanitation Coverage Reaches 54 Percent

Addis Abeba — Sanitation coverage of Ethiopia has made progressive achievement reaching 54.8% in the current year from11.5% in 2003, the Federal Ministry of Health (MoH) disclosed.

The country is working hard on sanitation to half the current population without access to sanitation by 2015(E.C) as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) has it, said Tesfaye Zewde, MoH representative, at the 2nd National Sanitation and Hygiene Festival focusing on urban sanitation celebrated recently, held at the Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA) hall in Addis Ababa.

In Ethiopia, it is estimated that about 35 million people do not have access to sanitation services and over half a million children under the age of five die every year from diarrhea. In other words, for every five children born, one will die from diarrhea before they reach their fifth birthday. Safe and adequate water supply, improved sanitation and hygienic practices can save thousands of children’s lives each year, he added.

According to him, over 24,000 health extension workers, primarily women, are working with households to promote sanitation through small do-able actions like building and using a simple latrine and washing hands with soap or ash at critical times. Beyond the health extension workers, civil society organizations, private sectors, churches and international organizations are all dedicating money and human resources towards improving sanitation.

This year festival which focuses on urban sanitation is organized with the objectives of appreciating the existing efforts and achievements on urban sanitation, opening up discussion with concerned government and non-government actors and also creating the opportunity for regional groups to share experiences and enhance their commitment in the sector in general and on urban sanitation in particular.

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Water Resources jointly work to improve urban sanitation.

According to the representative from the Minster of Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) the Ministry had also developed an Urban Sanitation Master plan and model designs. This is expected to help municipalities to for implementation in their own context. The Ministry is also keen in integrating urban water supply and sanitation in all the studies. More than 50 small, medium and large towns have sanitation studies that made along the water supply project.

The three days festival was organized by WASH Ethiopia Movement, and around 250 participants from the Ministry of Water Resources, officials from Ministries of Health, Education and Finance and Economic Development, Federal Environmental Protection Authority, Water Resources, and Works and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Authority, and other invited guests attended the festival.

Source – http://allafrica.com/stories/200911240360.html

Hygiene/sanitation photos from Ethiopia – Jay Graham/USAID

graham-tippytapJay Graham is a member of USAID’s Environmental Health Team and was recently on an assignment in Ethiopia. He has posted sanitation/hygiene photos from the assignment on a Picasa website.

If you have information to share about your organization’s work on water, sanitation and hygiene, contact Jay Graham at jgraham@usaid.gov.

Sanitation promotion: experiences from government-led initiative in southern Ethiopia

In Ethiopia’s Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) an innovative programme has promoted latrine construction and use, hand washing and safe water storage and handling. The intervention is an example of how visionary government leadership can create the political momentum for low-cost sanitation and hygiene (S&H) and reach out to rural communities.

Papers from the Overseas Development Institute, in the UK, and the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, in the Netherlands investigate the SNNPR approach. The research was undertaken by Ethiopian researchers on behalf of the Research-inspired Policy and Practice Learning in Ethiopia and the Nile Region (RiPPLE) project.

[...] In 2003 the SNNPR Bureau of Health (BoH) began a new community health strategy, including S&H [which aimed] to reach households through paid health extension workers (HEWs) and volunteer community health promoters (CHWs) [and which] promoted latrine construction without any form of subsidy.

A combination of political promotion and institutional mobilisation was successful in launching and expanding the regional government’s strategy as a ‘movement’. [...] The key elements of the S&H strategy were designed to be politically attractive and administratively feasible, and were written in non-technical language.

The researchers found after the project:

  • The proportion of households having latrines increased by a factor of eight.
  • There was less acceptance of open defecation.
  • Questionnaire results indicated better knowledge on hand washing, although actual practice remained poor.
  • There were hand washing facilities in 82 percent of households, but only 6 percent were near the household latrine and few people used soap or detergents.
  • Water storage and handling practices also remained poor.
  • Men mostly decided latrine design, siting and construction, although women were involved in providing materials and plastering.

Despite these positive developments, doubts remain about sustainability and some latrines have collapsed [and] many are infested with flies. As CHWs are unpaid and receive little follow-up support or training, many have lost motivation. Higher levels of government have not provided enough technical support or monitored changes in household S&H behaviour.

[...] Aspects of the SNNPR experience which might help improve [sanitation elsewhere] include:

  • promoting local, rather than donor-driven, S&H programmes and technology designs
  • using community promotional change agents coordinated by local authorities in command and facilitation roles
  • reviewing local S&H progress within wider health sector review processes
  • ensuring that strategising, political positioning and communication are based on solid evidence
  • realising that sanitation workers cannot make their case to high-level politicians without understanding the political dynamics around S&H.

Sourceid21, 01 Apr 2009

Ethiopia: Researchers to Tighten Gap in Water, Sanitation Policies

Adama — Researches and intensive discussions help to tighten the gap between policy issues of the Water and Sanitation Sector (WSS), said the Research, Development and Coordination Department of the Ministry of Water Resource.

At the consultative forum held on Friday under the theme of “Financing WASH” in Adama, Abity Getaneh, Department’s Irrigation and Drainage Research Coordinator in the Ministry, said Ethiopia has a huge benefit to earn from both researchers and practitioners of the WSS. “A host of institutions across the country are now deeply involved in providing teaching, research, and practical inputs to learning process in the sector” he said.

Abity on the one day consultative meeting added that a number of active networks and forum are improving sector coordination and enhancing the overall understanding of the challenges in the implementation of sustainable water and sanitation services.

The purpose of the Forum for Learning on Water and Sanitation (FLoWS) is providing an umbrella under which learning across networks forum can be shared more effectively and specifically as well as fostering sector understanding of the multi-stakeholder forum point. This will strengthen the capacity for the Ethiopian WSS sector to link learning and research to key policy processes across the year and support delivery of Multi-Stake holders Forum (MSF) undertakings.

Read More – Daily Monitor

1m Ethiopian children take part in Global Hand Wash Day

(…)  Ethiopia is mobilising close to 5,000 schools nationwide to have 1,000,000 children participate in the challenge towards a world record.

A half-day national launching event will kick-off at Maskal square in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to bring together children and stakeholders from government, public and private sectors, NGOs, the media, school teachers, parents and the diplomatic community to showcase this simple and cost effective hygienic habit for healthy living.

The Global Hand Wash Day celebration in Ethiopia is being organised by UNICEF and the Ethiopian WASH Movement in partnership with the private sector.

Read all Afrique en Ligne

Sanitation and the MDGs: Making the politics work

In his opinion piece (Sep 2008, ODI Opinion 109), Peter Newborne of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), ask “why is it that Sanitation and Hygiene (S&H) policies, backed by sound epidemiological evidence, and supported by solid socio-economic arguments for increased investment, are still being overlooked by so many governments?”

Using an example of successful sanitation policy-making in southern Ethiopia, Newborne suggests that the answer is that “strategising, political positioning and communication must be grafted on to the evidence base”.

“The positioning of S&H as a key preventive measure in community health is a strategic option that will be useful in many countries”, he adds. While the ‘WASH’ – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene concept provides “an important message for communication at or near local level, and for gathering coalitions of support to increase demand for improved S&H facilities, [...] WASH is not the strategic or political ‘ticket’. “For sanitation people to make their case to high-level politicians, the politics must be placed in sanitation policy”.