Thanks to the support of Earth Council Geneva, International Medical Corps is currently rehabilitating water points at six primary schools in Damot-Pulasa and Boloso-Sore woredas. IMC decided to focus on providing potable water at schools as children often miss class due to illness caused by diseases associated with unsafe water, or because they need to travel far distances to find and collect water for their families. Our partner IMC is currently installing piping to bring water community-based sources to the schools, where water points are now functional, and training the members of six special committees on how to maintain them.
To help promote behavior change for proper hygiene among the children, the six schools now have water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) clubs. IMC's approach, using games, exercises and role-play, takes advantage of the natural attributes that children have: less knowledge and experience, fewer responsibilities and an eagerness to learn. They have created action plans for their schools and we have noticed a change in student personal hygiene, including the proper utilization of latrines and hand washing after their use. Solid waste is also now being properly managed by installing dust bins. The bins and hand-washing stations have both been made by students using local materials such as bamboo and disused plastic Jerry cans.
In summary, each of the six primary schools identified for improvements in access to safe water, have also seen improvements in terms of attitudes, behaviors and practices related to environmental sanitation and proper hygiene.
WASH club training at Gurmukoysha Primary School in Boloso-Sore
WASH club training and solid waste management at Olola Primary School in Damot-Pulasa
WASH committee training sessions in Damot-Pulasa and Boloso-Sore