Greetings from Halaba zone, June 2022

26.11.2022 - Ethiopia

One of our project coordinators, Angelina, visited the Halaba project site in June 2022. She met and interviewed many people empowered by the project. Baidanuria (main photo) described perhaps one of the most significant and direct impacts the project had at a grassroot level on the right-holders: “Prior the project, it seems like the community has forgotten us – but now, having given opportunity to be tap attendants has elevated our positions as women and disabled people in the community. Now we have a voice and seats in community-related meetings and gatherings. Also, now we know how to practice better hygiene, for example, we wash our hands after going to latrine houses, we keep our households in good care and we clean the area around the water scheme and keep animals away from it”.

As a part of Angelina's monitoring trip in June 2022, a visit was also made to a school in Hamatalinda. The project had helped to establish so-called WASH clubs to the schools that help distribute information on safe water, sanitation and hygiene.  Abubakry A., a 15-year-old club member, who is visually impaired  and has received assisting devices through the project, said that the school WASH club helped pupils and him personally to understand the importance of personal hygiene. Unfortunately the given assisting device is only useful around his households but not in assisting him for example when navigating to school due to inaccessibility of roads in the area.

Ajeeba, a 15-year-old seventh-grader we met at Hamatalinda school (photo below), also participated in the school WASH club. The impact of the training on her life is immense. According to the interviewed pupils, prior to the training personal hygiene was not taken into account with seriousness. Nowadays, the school does monitor and follow-up on pupils' hygiene, for instance, every Monday the teachers will check if school uniforms are cleaned, and nails and hair are neat. 

Another issue brought up by Ajeeba is related to girls' menstruation; before the training, students were forced to skip school days due to menstrual days. After the training that policy was changed as the school is now partially able to provide period pads and a room prepared solely for the girls to rest when needed.