Thanks to your generous donations, Orbis Ireland has been able to improve sanitation facilities by repairing and building latrines in rural areas of Southern Ethiopia. This has not only reduced the spread of trachoma in these areas, it has also helped to improve the attitudes of the local people towards sanitation. This is key to our success in eliminating trachoma in Ethiopia. These positive effects are well documented throughout the reports of this project and are a direct result of your generosity.
For administrative reasons this project will now be reported on in conjunction with our Global Giving project to Provide Training on Personal Hygiene. You can continue to support our work in Ethiopia by giving to this project directly, or by visiting our website www.orbisireland.ie.
Orbis' work would not have the powerful impact on improving environmental hygiene without the team of dedicated staff who work within the project communities daily. Tadesse Data manages the Orbis project in Konso, a village located 90km from Arbaminch with a population of 257,000. He works in collaboration with the Konso health office to plan, implement and follow-up the construction of latrines until they are ready for use by the local communities Construction of communal latrines starting from site selection up to the completion of the construction can take 2 to 4 months, during which time Tadesse's commitment is fundamental to the success of the project.
The average number of households using the communal latrine is about 80 which is approximately 480 individuals. This improved sanitation has had long-term significant benefits for the community and the active involvement of communities is central for the project to have a lasting impact. The construction of such latrines demonstrates to the local communities that the use of such facilities could reduce the disease transmission and maintain a clean and healthy environment. Once communities understand the value and benefit of latrine use, they can then construct their own latrine from cheap local materials. Dedicated and experienced staff members like Tadesse encourage the local community to embrace the changes that these latrines bring. In this way your generous donation can reach it's maximum potential.
Traditionally, in rural Ethiopia, the community members go to the woods or fields to defecate. Women in particular are discouraged from defecating or urinating where they could be seen during the day and usually have to wait until the night to relieve themselves.
As part of the implementation of the SAFE strategy, Orbis works to encourage communities to construct household pit latrines. Demonstration latrines are built by Orbis in communities to illustrate the ease with which a latrine can be constructed using materials readily available in the community.
Often, through Women's Group leaders, it is the women who champion latrine construction in homes and communities. They encourage their husbands and family members to work together to clear land near their homes, to dig pits, to gather local resources, and to build structures to enclose the pits. Latrine structures consist of whatever materials a family have on hand: sticks, mud, tree branches, gourds, plastic sheeting, and so on. Many families construct a hand washing station, also made of local materials, next to the latrine to encourage proper hygiene.
Using a household latrine reduces the population of flies transmitting the bacteria that causes trachoma. The privacy provided by the latrines also allows women the freedom to relieve themselves when they need to during the day and improve their safety as they no longer have to go far from their homes after dark. This helps to address some of the inequalities women face in their homes and communities.
By actively leading the latrine construction movement, women not only help themselves, but serve their communities in the fight against trachoma.
Have you ever thought about just how important our ceramic friends can be? ORBIS has been building and maintaining community latrines since 2007. As a pivotal element of the SAFE strategy for trachoma elimination, providing community access to sanitation facilities is a high priority for our staff in Ethiopia.
Before the intervention of ORBIS, open defecation was common in this part of Ethiopia. With a dense population and poor hygiene facilities at hand, this practice aids the spread of disease and sickness. Building community latrines provides people with basic facilities that help stop the spread of diseases like trachoma.
In Bonke, southern Ethiopia, ORBIS is working to ensure that local villagers have access to these facilities. In doing so, we are ensuring that trachoma elimination will be achieved. When coupled together with the other elements of the SAFE strategy, we are providing a firm effort to reach our goal where no one is needlessly blinded by this awful disease.
ORBIS Ireland has been fighting against trachoma in southern Ethiopia for over seven years now. Our goal is to eliminate trachoma from a population of around two million people living in some of the poorest areas of this country. None of our work would be possible without the generous support of people like you. On behalf of all those who will benefit from your continued support, thank you!
ORBIS has been working in Konso, southern Ethiopia, for over five years now. On a recent visit to the region, we had a fantastic opportunity to witness the building of a new community latrine.
Located just off the town's market square, this facility will benefit an estimated 1,000 people per week and serve as a key element of our strategy to improve sanitation facilities in order to combat avoidable blindness in the region. Before ORBIS began construction, open defecation was a common practice in this area. Through building community latrines, ORBIS is inhibiting the spread of the bacteria which causes the blinding eye disease trachoma.
Providing access to basic sanitation is a priority in our work. We have witnessed the local population's continued willingness to learn about the benefits of good hygiene. In turn, public attitudes towards sanitation are improving; this is key to the success of our work in Ethiopia.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can continue to build and maintain latrines in Konso and beyond. On behalf of all those who directly benefit from your support - Thank You! Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about our work.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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