Posted by AAB
Safe Water, Clean Hands for Ethiopian Children  
Children attending public schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are in tremendous need of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene training. In 2012, Lake Union Rotary, Seattle, WA, and the Rotary Club of Addis Abada West, Ethiopia have developed an ambitious plan to bring WASH to over 450 schools with over 400,000 children by 2024.
Working with the not-for-profit, SPLASH they have already completed projects in 26 schools for 35,000 children. Now that they have a template that they can replicate they are on their way to their goal.
With all big projects, there is always an opportunity for other Rotary Clubs to get involved with this ambitious project.
Rotary Clean Water and Sanitation Project in all public Schools in Addis Ababa     
Submitted by Asfaw Ayelign, Rotary Club of Addis Ababa West
This project started in 2014 to provide clean water and hygiene training to public schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This initial engagement of doing good to communities covered 26 schools with 35,000 students, school teachers, and administrators. It was soon discovered that the lack of toilets in the schools was a major issue that needed urgent attention. With the need to expand the scope of the project, the various partners (The sponsoring Rotary club, The Rotary Foundation, Rotary club partners, Addis Ababa Education Bureau (AAEB), Ministry of Health (MOH), and the implementing partner, SPLASH) agreed to conduct an evaluation to determine the issues in the schools related to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Rotary, SPLASH, and AAEB collaborated in the first two projects in 2014/16 which provided clean water and hygiene training to school children. This included:

- installing high-quality water filtration systems

- constructing drinking and hand washing stations

- having water storage tanks with an adequate capacity for use when city supply is interrupted.

- Providing hygiene training using hygiene curriculum developed by our implementing partners: AAEB and SPLASH. 

The third project, that is in the process of starting, will addresses sanitation in schools where clean water has already been provided, especially school toilets in 18 schools which are considered a health hazard. This will include rehabilitation of existing toilets and construction of new toilets in schools where there are not sufficient toilets for the number of students. In existing toilets, there is need to unclog toilets, clean toilet stalls, provide new toilet pans to cover bare concrete holes, improve water supply, provide waste bins for menstrual hygiene management, improve ventilation, ensure functioning doors, locks and lighting, and new paint and cement to improve surfaces so that they are child friendly.

The entire project is estimated to cost US$115,000. SPLASH will be using fiberglass for the construction of clean water stations in schools, this will be more economical and last longer.  

The fourth phase which is being finalized and starting in November 2018, will be another sanitation project involving the construction of new toilets at a cost of $126,000.

An important and key element in these projects is making sure they are sustainable. The school administration, project owners and implementers have developed a plan to maintain the project for at least 10 years after completion. In addition, they have committed themselves to continue hygiene training and oversee the proper management of the service. In particular, the AAEB has taken the responsibility of ensuring that the service is properly managed by the school administration.
As part of the effort to make sure the service is sustainable, all parties to the project implementation will take steps to strengthen the ability of communities to develop, fund and maintain lasting water and sanitation systems. This will include supporting programs that enhance communities’ awareness of the benefits of safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Resourcing being a key element of providing a sustainable sanitation service in a vulnerable environment like schools, Rotary will continue to play its advocacy role to make sure that funds are adequately available. A lasting clean water and sanitation service in schools is not only essential for the school environment but for the community surrounding it and the country at large.
We invite donors to extend their hands of support to these projects through the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa West. We will also make every effort to approach potential donors who may not be familiar with what we are doing to join us and be part of such a critically important project that keeps our children and ourselves healthy. Rotary, AAEB, and SPLASH are committed to running the project until all the 465 schools in Addis Ababa are reached.