We address health issues affecting school attendance and success for rural children by installing school wells. Our projects help combat water-borne illness, prevent the spread of disease, and promote good hygiene. Children are sick less often and able to attend school regularly.

Our commitment to a school community extends beyond the improvement or new construction of a school building. Project Ethiopia also works to support the health and well-being of these young learners through the provision of clean water wells. With the same engagement and volunteerism that helped raise a school building, community members learn from Project Ethiopia staff how to maintain and repair the well to ensure the project is sustainable.

School wells deliver clean water to students and those living near the school where previously the only access to water was from contaminated streams. School wells are drilled during the dry season to be sure water will be available year-round. The site is selected with guidance from the Department of Mines and Water which also regularly tests and treats the water once the well is installed.

Clean water = a significant reduction in waterborne diseases

Better access to clean water = girls are in school instead of using time and energy getting water for the family

Clean water weekly eye washing = no more trachoma

At a Glance

7 school wells installed

3 piped water systems installed

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STORIES FROM THE FIELD:

The Amazing Composting Latrine

Ecological sanitation latrines, like the ones installed by Project Ethiopia, sound good, but how do they work? Our latrines are:

Urine diverting to a storage tank for farmers to use instead of expensive chemical urea.

Dry so, as organic material is added to the compost, there is no smell.

Equipped with lids and screens on the vents so that flies, if they enter, are left in the dark and ‘escape ’ to the screened vent and can never exit, but do not return to the dark pit.

Above ground so torrential rains cannot wash the contents out on the hillsides and into streams.

Once a day a school latrine manager adds handfuls of compost to each compost barrel. After about one year of use, the compost barrels are moved to a dry covered storage area, are screened and composted for 1 1/2 years. After that time, with the Ethiopian temperatures, the compost is germ-free and ready for agricultural use to build the soil. Urinals drain to a tank for use as fertilizer and is germ-free in 3 months.

Smell? The toilet pan pit has a tight lid (which is easily moved aside for use and replaced afterwards by one’s foot), so smells are minimized and the air flow from the outside flows inside and carries odors up the screened vent. The urine tank is air tight and each latrine has a P-trap which prevents urine from becoming ammonia and having a smell.   The toilet floors are painted concrete and are cleaned daily, keeping urine from seeping into the concrete and creating a smell.

Click here to see how this works.

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