Revitalising the Gozamen Woreda WASH team to take improved sanitation to scale

School Latrine

Yohannes Admasu, the Health Bureau Head of Gozamen Woreda, expressed earlier that the Woreda WASH Team (WWT) was an inactive group. Back in 2016, he recalled that none of the government’s WWT members understood what the Ethiopian One WASH National Program (OWNP) was all about, and how to implement this at woreda level. This situation changed when the TRANSFORM WASH project provided capacity building support to help revitalise the WWT.

TRANSFORM WASH trainings facilitated by SNV equipped WWT members with the capacity to understand the policy framework of the OWNP, how it is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, and how to carry out the role of local government to mobilise households and schools in the construction of improved toilets with handwashing with soap facilities. These trainings also transferred skills in planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting to WWT members. Overall, new knowledge and skills gained helped strengthen WWT members’ decision-making capacity.

Since WWT revitalisation, the Gozamen WWT has successfully secured Br 150,000 (US$ 3,959) from the Woreda Administrative Council. The funds are being used to promote sanitation marketing activities, and to increase community demand for SATO pans.

Latrine under construction

Latrine under construction in Chertekel school

School Latrine

SATO pan-fitted latrines delivered to Chertekel school

In the Chertekel elementary school for instance, the WWT encouraged the Migbare Senay Children Family Support Organization operating in Chertekel woreda to install a SATO pan over the school’s existing pit latrine. Whereas the aim of the WWT was to encourage the school to gain access to one improved toilet, the school decided to purchase and install seven more SATO pans. Throughout the construction, WWT members provided technical advice and ensured the proper installation of SATO pans based on established standard operational procedures.

Success in the school and in many households have greatly inspired the Gozamen WWT to persevere in the coming months. Planned activities include strengthening the sanitation market by following up with local manufacturers of sanitation products, organising ‘pause and reflect’ review meetings, and strengthening the capacity of WASH committees working at kebele level.[1]

Said Yohannes Admasu, Health Bureau Head of Gozamen Woreda, ‘even if we still have a long way to go to meet our sanitation target, I can say we are on the right track.’

Through the USAID Transform WASH project support, 41 Woreda WASH teams have gained the capacity to support government ambitions to realise area-wide sanitation.

Written by: Fasika Ayalew (SNV in Ethiopia Communications Officer) with Wondwosen Tsgie (Transform WASH Capacity Building Advisor)

For questions or more information, contact: Wondwosen Tsgie (Transform WASH Capacity Building Advisor) through SNV in Ethiopia's general office mail.