DfiD senior officials visit Sustainable Sanitation Programme in Ethiopia

DfiD senior officials visit Sustainable Sanitation Programme in Ethiopia

Penny Ines, Deputy Head of DfID Human Development Department, Angela Spilsbury, Human Development Team Leader of DfID Ethiopia and Anne Mutta, Manager of SNV Multi-Country program for SSH4A Results Programme visited Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Results Programme sites in Ethiopia.

Girma Tesfaye, Amhara region Deputy Bureau Head and Teklu Yemane Birhan, External Resource Mobilisation & NGOs Coordination Core Process Owner at Finance and Economic Cooperation, Yibeltal Berie, Hygiene and Sanitation Officer at Health Bureau of Amhara National regional State participated in the event.

Penny Ines visiting the household, communal and institutional latrines reflected, “The linkage with government structures and community particularly of the Women Development Army volunteers has been very impressive. Though there are few things to be improved generally the latrines have very good quality and I have seen they have been used.”

SNV with funding from DfID is implementing Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Results Programme across nine countries in Africa and Asia. In Ethiopia, SSH4A Results Programme/San Waghimra Project is implemented in six woredas of WagHimera zone - Amhara region - with the government sector offices, Organisation for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) and the community. The programme engaged women in sanitation and hygiene promotion and facilitation of sanitation market centres. Women like Gebeya Negussie told visitors that they were not able to answer the call of nature during the day before they built toilets due to cultural barriers. Before constructing toilets they either had to wait until it is dawn or dusk.

Anna Mutta, SNV Multi-Country Program Manager for SSH4A Results Programme said, “What satisfied me most is when I learnt that we are making a difference in the lives of the women who could not answer the call of nature because there is no privacy.”

Since the launch of San Waghimra Project, the zone has succeeded in increasing its latrine coverage from 20.9% to 51.8%. By the end of 2015, out of 122 kebeles 93 will have primary open defecation free status despite the topography related challenges and scarcity of water. The Bureau of Health of Amhara National Regional State has taken these results positively.

Yebeltal Berie, Sanitation and Hygiene Officer of Amhara Bureau of Health explained, “There was an age long misconception that hygiene and sanitation is associated with economic status and is impossible to achieve ODF in terrain landscapes like Waghimera. Unlike the misconception this project proved that hygiene and sanitation is all about behaviour.”

He added that the government intends on accelerating the upgradation of the sanitation ladder and plans to connect 30% of the kebeles in the region in sanitation marketing. These sanitation marketing centres introduced by SSH4A will contribute a lot in assisting the government in achieving the plan through increased access to sanitation technology options.

Bureau of Finance and Economic Developed (BoFED) representative, Tekelu Yemane Birhan, External Resource Mobilisation & NGOs Coordination Core Process Owner in BoFEDC, stressed on making schools centres of excellence in sanitation and hygiene promotion for sustained behaviour.

On the other hand, Angela Spilsbury focused on maintaing the project's achievements after Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Results Programme is over. “In two years’ time you will be left with a good legacy of the programme and behaviour change that is happening with the community. The zone should start working on how to finance or include the costs in its routine budget.”

Girma Tesfaye and the Deputy Bureau Head promised to scale up the achievements at the regional and national level. He recommended that “sector offices in the zone have to focus on ensuring sustainable utilisation of latrine, handwashing and proper storage and utilisation of water”.

Getachew Belaineh, SNV Ethiopia San Waghimra Project and Sector Lead, WASH stated, “We are making progress in achieving primary ODF and made possible  what seemed impossible. Hence, we are ready to share experiences with other zones in Amhara region and other countries. It will boost the energy and morale of project stakeholders to increase their effort in ensuring quality, focus on sanitation technology option demand creation and sustainability.”

In the next two years the zonal government structure will focus on the core activities; including ensuring sustained community ownership of facilities and behaviours; quality of facilities towards improved sanitation and hygiene and scaling up the project's achievements to other kebeles.