Below is an actual report to a WaterAid corporate partner on their support of a rural project in Hintalo Wajerat, Ethiopia for two years (2008/09 and 2009/10) with a donation of £90,000 per annum (October 2007). Background WaterAid and [corporate partner – name redacted] have over the past two years built a successful partnership in support of WaterAid's work in Ethiopia. The partnership has done much to raise awareness of the Hintallo Wajerat project and our work in Ethiopia, as well as the importance of water and sanitation projects in overcoming poverty. In addition, [corporate partner's] financial support of the project has enabled WaterAid to complete the important final phase of what has been a nine-year project. With the successful completion of the Hintallo Wajerat project in March 2010, we're delighted to report back to you on its outcomes that have been achieved with our support. Project [Corporate partner] supported the final two years (2008-2010) of phase three of the Hintallo Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project, which began in April 2001 and ended in March 2010, lasting a total of nine years. The project was divided into three distinct project phases, each of which lasted three years. Hintallo was chosen as the project area in 2001 due to its very low water coverage of 10% and poor sanitation and hygiene conditions, with only 2% of people having access to sanitation. Most of the traditional water sources were inaccessible and on average most people living in rural areas had to travel between six to eight hours to water sources which were often unreliable and unsafe to use. The water shortage in the area was particularly problematic for women who bear the burden of water collection. Along with a lack of general awareness and practice of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation, this situation resulted in the prevalence of bacterial and diarrhoeal diseases related to the lack of clean water and adequate sanitation.In spite of the fact that, at the time, the various target tabias (villages) were largely inaccessible WaterAid and its local partner, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC/DICAC) decided to implement a project to improve the situation. Location The Hintallo Wajerat Woreda (District), commonly referred to as Hintallo, is located in Tigray, one of the regional states in the northern Ethiopia. Hintallo is one of eight Woredas of Southern Tigray Zone and its capital Adigudom Town is 35 km south of Mekele, the capital of Tigray Region. Hintallo Woreda is divided into 22 administrative tabias/kebeles (villages), 21 of which are in rural areas. The Hintallo WASH project was implemented across 16 of the rural kebeles of the Woreda. In 2007 the population of Hintallo Woreda was 152,219 and by 2010 this had grown to 158,347. The Tigray region is one of the most drought prone areas of the Ethiopia with degraded land, water and vegetation/forest resources. The annual rainfall in the Hintallo is lower than the country average, erratic and therefore unreliable. Given that the main economic activity of the area is agriculture, the lack of rainfall can have serious consequences. Objectives and activities The overall objectives of the Hintallo WASH project were to: Improve the health conditions of communities (particularly children) through the provision of safe and adequate water and the promotion of proper hygiene and sanitation practices. Reduce the time needed to collect water and the burden this places on women and young girls by providing improved water supply sources at closer distances. Build the capacity of communities to manage and maintain the water supply and sanitation facilities in a sustainable way and ensuring women’s role in decision-making. To achieve these objectives, the main activities of the project included introducing sustainable technologies such as: Water supply – protected spring developments, the construction of gravity water systems (GWS), hand-dug wells (HDW), shallow wells and rainwater water harvesting schemes (RHS). Sanitation and hygiene - hygiene and sanitation education; the construction of traditional pit latrines (TPL), refuse disposal pits and ventilated improved pit latrines (VIPL). Community development and gender - community capacity building and empowerment activities such as the organisation of WASH user-committees and training to support the development of their ability to manage facilities In addition to these main activities, the project included some complementary activities such as micro-irrigation development, soil and water conservation, and the construction of biogas plants. We planned to reach 14,750 people with safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene. Outcomes All of the objectives for phase three of the project were successfully completed as follows: Water supply In total five protected spring developments were implemented, including one in Hareko tabia with two taps, a cattle trough and a washing basin. Construction of five gravity water supply schemes – one more than originally planned. These water sources were extended during the project to connect them to additional taps and to facilities such as showers rooms and wash basins. Construction of eight hand-dug wells with hand pumps Construction of a rainwater catchment scheme for a school Construction of a rain water catchment scheme for a health centre The construction water supply sources was done with due consideration to ensure their sustainability in the long-term. For example, in choosing the sites for the new water sources in consultation with the local communities, care was also taken to build facilities away from natural waterways to avoid future potential flood damage but at the same time closer to the villages they would be serving. Additionally, where used, wells were fitted with Afridev hand pumps which are both easy to operate and maintain as they do not use a motorised pump system. The water points were also designed to be user-friendly and meet different needs of the community, thereby ensuring their continued use into the future. Structures were made at the water points which made it easier for women to lift and carry water containers filled with water. Additional facilities such as washing basins and shower rooms were provided in the vicinity of some water points and cattle troughs were built to help mitigate livestock watering problems. Similarly, the excess overflow of water from GWS sources is being used for micro-irrigation, and proving of significant benefit to the farmers. For each water supply scheme, a WASH user-committee made up of six members of the community, including at least three women, was set up and trained in the operation and maintenance of the facilities. The water committees are responsible for setting and collecting water fees which are then used to employ a water point guard and to purchase tools and spare parts, which may be required to maintain the water point. Charging water fees is important not only to ensure partial recovery of set-up costs but also to help communities to understand that water is not free. Sanitation and hygiene promotion The objectives associated with sanitation component of the project have been modified since the original plans were submitted and account for differences in the number of latrines constructed. The reasons for this were the construction of traditional pit latrines and safe waste disposal pits by households themselves with the support of Community Health Promoters (CHP). They were highly effective in providing continuous hygiene and sanitation education and technical support and in helping to persuade households to adopt hygiene and sanitation technologies using their own means. These efforts were supported by communication such as use of posters and the use of water structures to display those posters. Construction of 1285 household traditional pit latrines, 95% of the 1,350 planned Construction of safe waste disposal pits for 478 households, 80% the 1,276 planned Construction of two ventilated pit latrines – one of these was constructed in a school benefitting 503 students. Hygiene training sessions for 5,899 households, surpassing the aim of 2,000. Production and distribution of 5000 hygiene and sanitation posters – two types of leaflet and of poster where produced and distributed Several other approaches to hygiene education were employed to great effect: School sanitation clubs were also created during this project phase to promote proper hygiene and sanitation practices among school children and the wider community. Junior Hygiene and Sanitation Officers (JHSO) were selected from the community and trained to provide ongoing education. The clergy were involved in promotional activities at community level. The majority of the communities in Hintallo are Orthodox Christian and the clergy and the church network were instrumental in communicating with and mobilising communities. As a result of these interventions, hygiene promotional activities far exceeded initial plans, with over 60,000 people receiving education. Community capacity building and ownership To ensure the long-lasting success of the project interventions, a number of activities were carried out to increase the communities' ownership of the projects, build their capacity to manage the facilities and ensure they would continue to be used in support of lasting behavioural change. Once again, the project succeeded in surpassing all its objectives. 30 community water and sanitation committees were established – exceeding the 18 originally planned. 54 water technicians were trained to handle day-to-day maintenance of facilities – more than the 36 planned. 106 community health educators were trained, exceeding the 36 planned. 54 extension health agents and junior hygiene and sanitation officers were trained to conduct the day-to-day monitoring of the project activities. One member of partner staff was provided training in support of capacity-building. Several innovations were adopted during the project phase including the construction of four model household biogas plants, capitalising on the enthusiasm of two community volunteers, which were used to help in the protection of natural resources and in the promotion of human and animal wastes for productive purposes. The idea behind the model biogas plants was to provide a more sanitary cooking facility that makes use of the available/recycled water and livestock dung. Unfortunately, no more biogas installations are planned at present due to the challenges they presented. These included the set-up costs involved in replicating the technology, the limited availability of livestock dung and the capacity of households to deal with the technology. NB: A team from [Corporate partner] visited a household with biogas during their first visit in 2008 and this was featured in the [Corporate partner]/WaterAid partnership film subsequently produced and premiered at the London International Documentary Film Festival in 2009. Project impact The project had a significant impact on the local community and brought a number of benefits: Health improvements have been noticeable, with a reduction in the number of deaths and in sickness. This has saved the time and money previously spent on trips to health centres for spent for medical care and medication. With water sources close by, women and children in particular have time to engage in more productive activities. It is estimated that the project has saved women an average of 1.5-2.5 hours for each round trip. Water consumption, which was well below 10 litres a day, has almost doubled as a result of the availability of cleaner water sources close to home, enabling households to collect water as often as they like. This means households now collect water for purposes other than just drinking and cooking, such as washing utensils and clothes, personal care, cleaning latrines and for providing water for small animals. It is likely that water consumption will increase further with improved hygiene and sanitation practices. Excess run off from water sources has allowed micro-irrigation schemes to be developed and many farmers have been able to produce more food to eat at home and to sell at market, earning additional income. Water used for such purposes is recycled and further used to water vegetable gardens at home. The project has provided the communities with additional skills in masonry and water scheme maintenance giving them additional income generating skills for the future. Knowledge of good water, sanitation and hygiene practices have increased significantly and begun to effect a real change in behaviours. Awareness prior to the project was low as there had been virtually no large-scale water and sanitation coverage by NGOs in the Hintallo area. This goes some way to explaining why the outcomes of the project exceeded initial plans, in addition to the fact that a significant number of activities which took place at community level such as school sanitation clubs and mass hygiene promotion by the clergy, which immediately provided households with a basic level of knowledge. The project was also careful to ensure the environmental sustainability of the water sources in the area and constructed a maximum of one well per village to be used principally for domestic purposes. This has led to very little overuse of the ground water, ensuring sources are not depleted. Moreover, wells and water points have been generally located at higher and sloping sites, paved all around and well drained allowing little chance for excess water to pollute wells or creating waterlogged conditions which allow the spread of disease. Conclusions Overall, the project has been extremely successful and has made a considerable contribution to the improvement of the water supply and sanitation coverage of the Hintallo Woreda. It has helped to improve the quality of life for the communities reached by the project. The President of the Tigray National Regional State acknowledged this in an official letter to WaterAid, requesting also that WaterAid extend its work to other parts of Tigray. WaterAid is now planning to extend its work in Hintallo and we're delighted that (Corporate partner redacted) will continue to support this work this year in 2010-11. (Corporate partner redacted's) support has helped to directly transform the lives of 14,000 people and reach out to many more people in Ethiopia. Feedback from the field This account from Berhanu Tadese serves to illustrate just how much has changed within the communities of Hintallo. Berhanu lives in Hewane Tabia, one of the areas targeted by the Hintallo project. He is the head of a household of six people, four male and two female. Berhanu told his family story as follows: Some years back, our village was unsanitary in that it was full of human and animal wastes. We used to collect water from a river source that was polluted with filth brought down by floods and animals sharing the water with us. "At the time, various people that we did not know came to our village and educated us on hygiene and sanitation. However, we did not listen to them, nor did we participate in their education sessions. "Kahsay, my eldest son, is now 28 years old. He used to suffer from an eye disease for a long time, and quit school due to sight problems. "My daughter, Abez Berhanu, who is now 18 years of age, also used to suffer repeatedly from an abdominal disease that bulged her stomach. She had to stop her education as well because of her illness. I consulted various traditional healers but they could not help her. I finally took her to Hewane Health Centre where she got medication and became well after treatment. The physicians told us that she was suffering from parasitic worms. "Woldegaber, aged 10 is the third child in the family. He used to have frequent diarrhoeal cases. "My wife and I had to take care of all the three children, and we had to spend no less than Birr 2,000 for their treatment and medication. "Over the years the Hintallo WASH Project has been around, with project and government health workers and the clergy jointly educating us at church and meeting places, on subjects such as maintaining a clean house, compound and environment; maintaining personal hygiene; and building and using latrines. "This was supported by the provision of improved water for drinking, cooking, washing and other purposes. We followed the guidance given by the project and many things have now improved. "As a result, my youngest two year old child has not suffered like his elders; he is healthy. This I believe is due to the improved water, hygiene and sanitary conditions that were bought by the project. "It is not only my family, but others in the Tabia have benefited in a similar manner with improved life style and health conditions.