Problem Addressed

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.

Innovative Approach

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.

Program Solution

Bishan Gari works to ensure that sustainable and affordable access to household water treatments are available in rural communities so they can readily incorporate potable water and effective WASH practices in their daily lives. They have a local production facility that produces a combined flocculent-disinfectant that treats 20 liters of turbid water. To complement their sachet production, they also undertake WASH interventions to promote effective behavior change.

To do so, they work with different local organizations to create joint interventions to further promote behavioral change. Based on these efforts, they have observed positive changes in many rural communities in utilizing WASH principles such as seeking clean water, safe storage, and being more aware of and concerned about sanitation and hygiene.