byHirut Hussien via web
Mrs. Hajite Gebabe, 30, lives in Edo Gojola Township in Adamitullu Jido Kombolcha District with her husband and 5 children (1 boy and 4 girls). Three of their children go to school in the nearby village. The family’s livelihood is dependent on subsistent farming practiced on a piece of land, a little more than half hectare. Hajite lives in a village where farming often depends on seasonal and inadequate rainfall, where crop failure is not uncommon. Here, food insecurity and poverty have never been strangers. Hajite’s family has only one ox and a cow.
What the family earns by tilling land has never been enough to support the household. Lately, Mr. Mengistu, Hajite’s husband, understood that the family had to do more in order to sustain itself. That was when the idea of working on backyard vegetation during off season crossed his mind. So he had to work hard to save from the family’s meager income. Finally, he managed to buy a water pump and a rope. By using pumped water, he, along with his wife and children, started to produce onion seedlings in his garden.
However, the family used this garden as a toilet at the same time that it attracted flies, causing various illnesses to the family. It also proved difficult to use it for another purpose since cleaning the homestead was a cumbersome work.
Hajite is in charge of domestic work and child care. She also fetches water from Batu town, 10 kilometers away. Last year, WASH Project came to their village, and Mrs. Hajite and her husband Mr. Mengistu were called to attend a meeting organized by the project. WASH aimed to use the event to sensitize people on hygiene and sanitation. When they learned about ecosan type latrine and improved hand-dug well, they were both interested in working with the project. After the meeting, they prepared a pit for dry waste disposal and another place to construct new type of latrine. The pit was constructed with the help of health extension worker in the village, who were trained by the WASH project on arboreal pit latrine construction.
Hajite’s family is now effectively utilizing the pit, based on the training and advice given to them by the project staff. They find the pit helpful to grow fruit trees in their compound. Now, a once dirty garden is clean and the family’s hygiene has improved significantly, thanks to the WASH Project constructed pit.
Hajite’s family was also screened by the project for a hand dug well construction, used by the larger community in the village. They family allocated a piece of land for the well. A few months ago, she suffered from fetching water from a far distance, but now she can obtain water for drinking, cooking and washing just a few meters from her compound. Hajite now leads a happier and healthier life. She has fewer burdens like women in her village who are benefiting from the fruits of the project. She washes her husband and children’s clothes on a regular basis without worrying that she would run out of water. This was only a dream for her a few months before. Mrs. Hajite plans to do even more. She is satisfied that she could access such a clean drinking water at home. In a near future, she will start selling locally produced vegetables like onions near her house as she has now ample of time after domestic chores.