The EECMY DASSC is currently undertaking a field visit to the Institutional WASH Project in the Sidama Region. This project is funded by Water to Thrive and carried out in 15 woredas within the region. The primary goal of this project is to improve the overall health services and well-being of the community it serves. The project has a total cost of approximately 17 million Birr and aims to target 34 health centers that are currently lacking adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. It is anticipated that this initiative will directly benefit a total of 850,000 individuals, including 450,500 females.
During the field visit, the participants in attendance were Mr. Dick Moller, the Board Chair of Water to Thrive, Mr. Joe Kinhan, the Executive Director of the Maternal Health Fund, Mr. Gashaw Semeneh, the Ethiopia Country Director of Water to Thrive, along with representatives from various organizations such as the regional health bureau, planning and economic bureau, woreda offices, and EECMY DASSC staff from SCE BO, SE AO, and HO. The community warmly greeted the participants by performing cultural music. The delegates proceeded to visit the Bokaso, Teferi Kella, and Loko Haytela health centers located in the Wonsho, Dara Otilscho, and Chuko woredas respectively. These health centers had been without access to running water for a minimum of four years. Ato. Teshager Haile, the head of the Dera Otilcsho woreda health office expressed his concern, stating, "Can you imagine a health center that handles eight to ten deliveries a day operating without water for years?" He continued, "The risk of infections for mothers visiting the health center for deliveries and other services was extremely high. Thanks to the significant contribution from Mekane Yesus and Water to Thrive, the health center now complies with the country's infection prevention protocol."
he successfully supplied water to the delivery, laboratory, maternity ward, vaccination, laundry, emergency, and OPD rooms, making a significant impact in preventing infections and offering high-quality services to the community. However, it is crucial to establish a sustainable mechanism that allows the health centers to financially support the ongoing operation and maintenance costs of the water supply systems, ensuring access to running water in the years to come.
The consultation meeting held at Haile Resort, Hawassa Branch finalized the field visit and involved a discussion about the next steps of the project.
Water to Thrive and EECMY DASSC have been long-standing partners with a common focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene. They are currently working together on a joint project to improve rural water supply in the Liben Jawi woreda of Oromia and Bura and Yergalem woredas in the Sidma region. EECMY DASSC is grateful for the financial and technical support they have received and eagerly anticipates additional collaboration in order to help the most vulnerable rural communities.