Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (www.DiasporaEngager.com).

For Workenesh Legesse, a mother of four in Sasiga, a new spring catchment is a huge relief. “Our children were suffering from waterborne diseases and accessing water for daily sanitary purposes was a big challenge.”

Mothers like Workenesh and Amina were spending hours every day walking to rivers to fetch water in 20-litre plastic containers they would carry on their backs.

Construction of water projects like handpumps, and protected spring catchments by IOM benefit not only families but also schools in rural areas. In total, IOM has built seven protected spring catchments, installed five new handpumps and rehabilitated eight handpumps in three districts, reaching more than 12,500 individuals in East Wollega alone.

“Due to budget constraints, the government of Ethiopia relies on partners to provide remote villages access to clean water. Many people – who have been at risk of waterborne diseases – are delighted and are now benefitting from IOM’s water schemes,” says Dabala Wagari, a representative of the East Wollega Water and Energy Office.

As well as the construction of water-related projects, IOM is conducting mass hygiene campaigns in the same area that have reached more than 34,000 people since 2019. Another 68,300 people will also benefit from a new hygiene campaign through school awareness programmes, door-to-door visits, public campaigns, and engagement of key stakeholders such as local government officials, religious leaders and health workers. In addition, protective equipment, cleaning materials, and handwashing stations have been distributed for free.

IOM’s school awareness programmes educate students on issues such as COVID-19 prevention and how to use water sparingly. To achieve these goals, IOM teamed up with three theatre groups using dance and theatrical performances as part of the awareness campaign.

Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (storyteller.iom.int).
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