Improving Health and Habits in Nensebo, Ethiopia

Amazing things are happening around the world as a result of your generous and faithful giving! We are so excited to share the results of Lifewater’s most recent project in Nensebo, Ethiopia. Let’s take a look at the before and after. 

In Ethiopia, nearly 50 percent (about 58 million people) do not have basic access to safe water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning. In addition, 91 percent of the population lacks basic access to sanitation and hygiene. The lack of these resources affects the Ethiopian peoples’ daily lives and has a negative impact on their future. 

Between June 2018 and June 2022, Lifewater partnered with communities in the Nensebo region of Ethiopia, focusing on safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education and infrastructure. Combined, these three aspects significantly reduce waterborne illnesses, which results in health and economic growth for communities. 

During this time, Lifewater served 12,115 people with WASH education. Following program completion, staff conducted surveys and focus group discussions to measure progress in the area. 


Nensebo, Ethiopia Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Results

89 percent decrease in the prevalence of childhood diarrhea

An estimated 297,000 children globally under the age of five die each year from diarrheal disease as a result of unsafe drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. Globally, this makes diarrheal disease the second leading cause of death for children under the age of five.

Before Lifewater programs, 6.1 percent of households with children younger than five years old had at least one child with diarrheal disease within the week prior to the survey. After, only 0.7 percent reported the same. That’s an 88 percent decrease in childhood diarrhea!

Nearly a 2,000 percent increase in households using an improved latrine with dignity

Using a functional, safe bathroom is critical to individual and community health. An improved latrine with dignity is one that has a slab, walls, a roof, a door, and a pit cover. These elements ensure not only privacy and thus dignity for the user, but also safety and reduced smell. 

Before Lifewater programs, only 3.8 percent of the population was using an improved latrine with dignity. After Lifewater programs, that number grew to 77 percent.


703 Million People Lack Clean Water

Water points managed by a water committee skyrocketed

Lifewater knows that simply dropping a water point only bandages a much bigger problem. That’s why, along with ensuring access to safe water, Lifewater trains and equips local community members to maintain the functionality of the water point. This way, communities can enjoy the benefits of safe water for years to come, even after Lifewater programs have been completed. 

In Nensebo, at baseline, only 5.7 percent of survey respondents said their water point was managed by a water committee. At the end of the program cycle, 83 percent said their water point was managed by a water committee. 

A community member said, “I personally witness that our water committee members are functional. …They meet regularly, collect fees, and they keep the fencing closed after users collect the water…Our community members positively collaborated with the water committee.”

Thanks to your prayers, gifts, and the collaboration of many groups, people in Nensebo are living healthy lives.

We are so excited to share these results with you. Get the full report by downloading below, and see how safe water and newfound health are bringing hope to communities in need! And remember, these results are all thanks to your generous giving. The more we give, the more we can share our mission with the world.


Choose a Village. Change a Life.