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First ‘Healthy Home’ Reported in West Arsi, Ethiopia

Families in West Arsi receive official certificate for WASH achievement.

Field staff from Lifewater certified the first official “Healthy Home” earlier this month. Healthy Homes are the building blocks of thriving communities, where vulnerable children and families work to realize the benefits of WASH access.

A “Healthy Home” indicates a household that successfully implements all of the requirements of safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene.

A household receives this designation when it demonstrates that it:

1) Drinks safe water (Water either from a safe source or treating water from an unsafe source)

2) Stores water properly (using a narrow-mouthed, clean container)

3) Uses an improved latrine with dignity (For Ethiopia this would mean walls, roof, door, slab, and pit cover)

4) Uses a proper handwashing device (on which does not re-use water)

5) Uses a drying rack for dishes (raised off the ground)

6) Maintains a clean compound (clean of rubbish and trash).

Healthy Homes receive an official certificate and community recognition. With these behaviors in place, families can prevent the water-borne diseases that keep them in a poverty trap.

“We are so excited to announce the first Healthy Home has been identified in our West Arsi program,” says Dr. Pamela Crane-Hoover, Lifewater’s VP of Global Programs. “It is proof that our field staff are effectively reaching families with WASH messages, and these households will be changed forever.”

The first Healthy Home to demonstrate these six behaviors to Lifewater staff is located in the Nensebo Woreda (district), and belongs to a family of five headed by Mamoo Sadoo in Ona village.

It is the first of thousands expected in the West Arsi region of central Ethiopia over the next few years. Lifewater continues a three-year project in the area that aims to serve 45,000 people in two districts with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.