A seven member delegation from the Ethiopia WASH Alliance paid a 6-day visit to Kenya around mid November. The visit hosted by the Kenyan counterpart Kenya WASH Alliance was the idea of ICCO, one of the Dutch WASH Alliance members, for a knowledge sharing visit to selected sites in Kajiado county.
According to Deres Abdulkadir, executive director of RiPPLE and member of the delegation, the visit was mainly meant to share experiences in Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). On top of that the team has been to model sites in school WASH and able to see some MUS (Multiple Use Services) experiences.
Though Ethiopia has a good track record in the implementation of CLTS, mainly spearheaded by Plan International Ethiopia (PIE), Deres noted that the team has gained important lessons as the experience in Kajiado is being implemented in a different set of context and communities with their unique challenges when it comes to behavioral changes.
He also cited Olgos Village as a case in point describing how it became an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Village bearing signboards of recognition and started influencing neighboring villages on proper use of latrines, better home management and WASH related attitudes.
During their visit to a School WASH activity at Lele Village, the Ethiopia WASH Alliance delegation has witnessed how the intervention has enabled the students to become models in personal hygiene and how the school management is working with the community on changing attitudes toward sanitation and hygiene.
Over all the Ethiopia WASH Alliance team obtained valuable lessons related to community mobilization, importance of giving recognition to best performers and on how pro-poor and marginalized communities‚Äô interventions turn in to success.
The Ethiopia WASH Alliance, which was launched in July 2012, has 7 member organizations that include AMREF, RiPPLE, WaterAid, HCS, HOAREC, MetaMeta and AFD. The Dutch WASH Alliance plays the coordination role while RiPPLE is serving as current chair of the Steering Committee.
It was learnt that the Ethiopia WaSH Alliance has invited its Kenyan counterpart for similar visit to Rain Water Harvesting and Multiple Use Services areas scheduled for mid-January 2013.
Here you can read a related blog by Tamene Chaka, Country Coordinator of the Ethiopia WASH Alliance.
Solomon Kebede is Media and Communications Officer at RiPPLE