Wrapping up in Ethiopia

We wrapped up our three-year project in Ethiopia successfully at the end of last year. Our focus was on providing children access to water and facilities at schools, in a way that the entire neighborhood could benefit from. By focussing on training and sharing vital information, local communities will benefit from this project for many years to come.

In schools

Toilets, menstruation rooms and water kiosks have been built at 15 schools. 13 of the schools involved received a little extra: a room with a bed and a sink, where students with menstrual problems can retreat for a while. Reusable sanitary pads are also made and sold, or offered to students who cannot afford them. We provided information to girls and boys about the importance of clean water, hygiene, reproduction and reproductive health care.

A total of 21,675 students and teachers now have access to clean drinking water at school. 19,313 girls can also use safe toilets, and of these, 16,093 have access to durable sanitary towels and separate rest areas.

Thanks to the support of Made Blue, Amref Ethiopia has been able to make ‘Clean Water and Proper Hygiene in and around the School’ a great success. We are very grateful to Made Blue and all its ambassadors for their support and involvement.

Amref Netherlands

Surrounding areas

In the neighbourhoods around the schools, 9 WASH facilities have been set up: safe toilets, showers, sinks and water tanks connected to kiosks. Small shops were already located at the location of these facilities, which have a reach of 4,800 people. The shop owners report a strong growth in people using the facilities and their other services. This has had a positive impact on the store’s profits.

We also built a public toilet and shower room in a poor neighbourhood in the city of Yeka, including a connection for clean drinking water. Twenty families use these facilities. They’ve reported much less odour in their neighbourhood, and feeling much healthier. Finally, we ensured that 700 meters of water pipes in Addis Ababa were replaced, so that there are fewer leaks and therefore less water is wasted.

At the beginning of 2020, we travelled to Ethiopia with some ambassadors to see the progress of the project for ourselves.

In good hands

Just like in the Netherlands, there has been strong inflation in Africa in the last two years. Building materials were therefore considerably more expensive. By shifting the focus to renovating existing but run-down sanitary facilities, we managed to achieve the objectives of this project despite this obstacle.

To leave all new, refurbished and expanded toilets, showers, sinks and water points in good hands, several motivated, previously unemployed people were trained in managing WASH facilities. This concerns both maintenance and operation. The people who use these public WASH areas also receive training on maintaining proper hygiene to maintain their health and prevent illness. In addition, 31 women and one man received training in making reusable sanitary towels.

The management of the communal toilet and shower areas and water kiosks was also transferred. These are located in neighbourhoods where many schoolgirls live with their families so that they can also enjoy proper sanitary facilities and clean water at home. 12,000 people use the nine clean water and sanitary facilities that we built in the neighbourhoods over the past three years.


Together with Amref and Castalie, we will provide people with clean drinking water, safe sanitation and good hygiene. We do this in schools, but also in the communities around those schools, for example by building kiosks on the outside of those schools, including small shops.

In total we invest at least 1 million euros. With this we reach 35,100 people, but specifically also 15,300 girls at 20 schools. By building safe toilets, sinks and changing rooms, we hope that the absentee rate of girls at school will decrease by 50% in the next 2.5 years.

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