Communities in rural Ethiopia currently face a number of WASH-related problems, e.g. the use of unprotected water sources for human and livestock consumption, resulting in water-borne and related diseases. Excessive time and energy is spent fetching water for drinking and other domestic purposes, despite the likelihood the water is dirty and not potable. According to the information obtained from the local administration during their baseline survey, of the total households in Give Water’s program area in Aselecha, almost all were not using water from a protected source and community knowledge about improved hygiene and sanitation practices was very limited, especially the awareness about children’s hygiene practices.
One of the leading causes of diarrhea is human contact with pathogen-rich feces. Of particular concern are children ages 2-6 who generally defecate openly as they are not “potty-trained”. Care providers, usually mothers and older siblings, are often responsible for cleaning toddlers’ bottoms and cleaning up the feces of children who openly defecate. This is a health risk, especially in areas where handwashing is poorly practiced and where sanitation services are under-developed. Therefore, there is a strong need for safe water supply facilities, as well as improved hygiene and sanitation practices, especially for children.