In Ethiopia, a growing number of people die each year due to water borne diseases. Expert studies show that in approximately 300,000 children under five years of age die each year in Ehtiopia because of drinking unsafe, contaminated water. Despite the numerous efforts made in the past years to solve this problem, a large number of Ethiopians still have no access to clean, safe drinking water. Accordingly, deaths from waterborne illnesses, especially among children, remains a large issue.
Bishan Gari’s program promotes healthier sanitation and hygiene practices in a more sustainable way. They manufacture household water treatment sachets in a local factory and distribute them in local stores, making the sachets an affordable and convenient option for households to clean their water. They also teach communities to be proactive about their health and encourage proper hygienic practices such as using clean water and frequent hand washing.
They want to provide a preventive behavior change approach in order to reduce disease outbreaks instead of waiting until health problems arise. For instance, during ther WASH interventions, they first ensure is a steady distribution system set in place using local merchants, health extension workers, and local health and water bureaus. They then provide WASH trainings to communities to help promote effective and sustainable behavior change, which also focuses on accountability and local empowerment.