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DevWASH-10: Sustainable clean water

Image: Repaired well and trough in Minogelti.



Project Title: Sustainable Water and Integrated Management System (SWIMS), Hamar District, Doria and Wassemu Villages

The DevWASH-10 project launched in 2010 with the support of Rotary International to ensure a sustainable clean water supply for the 1,500 pastoralists living in the Minogelti kebele1 of the Hamar woreda2 in South Omo Zone, Ethiopia.



The beneficiaries of DevWASH-10 were the Hamar pastoralists who have settled in 2 community clusters: the villages of Wassemu and Doria. An additional 500 people from neighboring communities indirectly benefited from the project.



The 3 wells available to the people of Wassemu and Doria were broken, and the communities had no means to repair them. No one in the community practiced sanitation or hygiene. More than 80% of the people suffered from roundworm, and even more had common colds. No one reported being healthy.



We engaged men, women, and teens with our community learning process to explore why they were sick and what they could do about it. More than half of the community members participated. Local artisans using local materials helped us construct a community learning center for these activities.

Several women emerged early through these trainings to become facilitators, helping teach others in their community proper sanitation and hygiene and how to use a pit latrine. We trained household inspection teams to perform routine hygiene and sanitation checks of every household, so the communities could monitor their own progress.

We repaired the 3 existing wells and trained the water and sanitation committees in both communities to maintain and repair their wells. With community participation we demarcated a large defecation free zone around each of the threes wells, and construct 15 pit latrines around the water points.



With the support of the elders, community leaders continued to teach about pit latrine use and hygiene. Peer pressure built over time for both communities to become 100%free of open defecation, and household inspection teams continued to monitor progress. The communities managed their own transition once the project was completed.

Community based learning is not just about training people to adopt new behaviors. It is about helping them to learn to identify and solve their own problems. With their participation in this project participants became active agents of their own well-being and proactive about solving their problems, demonstrating how the long-term impact of these projects grows over time.



Before   After
# People accessing clean water   0   918
# Water schemes refurbished (and maintained by community)   0   3
% households using pit latrines and adopting healthy hygiene   0%   35%



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