Better sanitation for improved health in Ethiopia

Published: Apr 25, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Better sanitation for improved health in Ethiopia
© Foto: People In Need
With the financial support of the European Union Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) organisation, People in Need (PIN) has begun working in the Sorobo Health Centre to address poor access to sanitation facilities and safe water.  

In conflict-affected areas of Konso province, people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. The situation is even more serious when it comes to health centres. With many people coming to health centres every day, safe drinking water, and clean and safe sanitation facilities are essential.

The Sorobo Health Centre, located in the Konso region, Goche kebele, Ethiopia, is one of the first People in Need supported health centres. The Goche kebele has a population of around 19 000 people, with semi-pastoralists providing most of the population's income. The Sorobo Health Centre is the only health centre in the area that provides emergency services to adults and to children under the age of five. This health centre sees over 100 patients per day. 

Sister Kuri Cheri is a midwife who has worked at the Sorobo health centre for over twelve years. “When the government handed over the health centre, there was a water-only flushable toilet. It didn't provide any service to the community due to a lack of water, and it also was not gender and disability friendly. Additionally, because the health centre served four kebeles (Sorobo, Goche Pusso, Mechelo) there was insufficient staff to serve all of the visitors. As a result, patients were forced to go to their homes to provide a stool sample for the laboratory, making our work difficult." said Sister Kuri Cheri. 

“As a result of this problem, patients from far away were forced to use community households' toilets.”

Due to a lack of a water supply and appropriate sanitation facilities, the health centre became a hazardous place where patients could quickly become infected and not recover properly.

Improving access to sanitation facilities

People in Need (PIN) began working in Sorobo Health Centre due to poor access to sanitation facilities and safe water. PIN with the financial support of the European Union Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) constructed a second safe toilet that can be used by the disabled and is also gender-friendly with water and soap or ash available for hand-washing. Furthermore, PIN has constructed a water storage system using rain harvesting techniques to resolve water scarcity at the facility. In the future, we expect that the 19000 people of the Goche kebele will benefit from this work.

Several other works are underway in Konso district, in Segen Zuriya woreda villages to strengthen the capacity of the health institution. These works include shallow well rehabilitations in GocheVillage, on-site spring construction in Erotagaratu Village, and deep well rehabilitations in Halko Village.  

Autor: Mihiret Wasihun Teklu

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