News @ JSI

New Public WASH Facilities to Serve Ethiopia's Urban Populations

December 28, 2017

Earlier this month, Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), and Dr. Abebaw Gebeyehu, Amhara Regional Health Bureau Head, inaugurated two model Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities constructed in Kombolcha and Kemise by JSI’s USAID-funded Strengthening Ethiopia's Urban Health Program (SEUHP). Additionally, SEUHP updated the equipment needed to protect a spring in Kombolcha and renovated the water supply facilities for health centers in both towns. FMOH representatives, community members, and JSI/SEUHP staff also recently attended the inauguration of WASH facilities in the town of Sekota.

With support from USAID, through the project, JSI constructed WASH facilities in five towns, including Kombolcha, Kemise, and Sekota, as part of an emergency response in drought-affected urban and semi-urban areas. The SEUHP team identified the locations for facility construction and/or renovation through a rapid assessment and discussions with regional health bureaus and city administrations. The completed projects will increase access to improved sanitation and hygiene facilities for residents of the five towns.

Ethiopia’s urban population continues to grow at a rapid rate. With this growth comes unique health challenges. Public latrines can help address issues, such as diarrheal disease, associated with limited or no access to sanitation facilities. SEUHP designed the WASH facilities to be accessible and affordable for urban residents who rely on public WASH facilities for their sanitation needs.

Public latrines regularly fall into disuse or pose public health risks because of poor management. To avoid this, JSI/SEUHP hired a professor from Addis Ababa University to design a business model for managing the facilities. The project will provide onsite support at the facilities for a year and share the management model with the FMOH to use at scale.