Ethiopia

Dembi Sebent Kebele Abandons Open Defecation

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W/ro Gede Gayo, 40, is a resident in Dembi Sebent Kebele in Moyale District of Borena Zone in Oromia Regional State. She is married and has seven children, five females and two males.

W/ro Gede indicated that people in her kebele have abandoned open defecation following the hygiene and sanitation activities carried out under the Early Recovery after Drought Project implemented in 2013 by the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) with the financial support from Swiss Red Cross.

She reported that people used to suffer from water born diseases which were believed to have been caused by poor hygiene and sanitation practice in surrounding area. “At least two people in a family used to get sick every rainy and windy season where water got polluted due to open defecation practice,” she noted.

She also indicates that there is no open defecation in Dembe Sebente kebele. This has been made possible as the community has started using latrine after recognizing that open defecation is a major cause for a multiplicity of water and sanitation related diseases including diarrhea, she noted.

She also unveiled that women are now able to use latrines at any time of the day. Before the construction of the pit latrines, it was a taboo for women to go to a latrine during day time.

She says she is very grateful to ERCS for training 1,200 households in what is called Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) approach and for distributing 1,200 sanitary slabs for each household which built latrine pit and started using it.