By Abraham Gossaye, CBDRR Project Coordinator
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) celebrated the Global Hand Washing and World Toilet days on November 17 and 18, 2013 in two primary schools (with a total of over 3000 pupils) that are located in its intervention area at Senbetge Kebele and Amba Giorgis town, North Gondar Zone.
The objectives of the two events were to foster and support local culture of hand washing with soap and raise awareness about the benefits of the practice and inadequate sanitation.
Demonstration and Quizzes
Upon celebrating the two events, hand washing demonstration, fact sheets on hand washing and sanitation facilities, quiz on critical hand washing times and steps, fun facts about hand washing and toilets among others were held.
On the occasion, ERCS, along with experts from the local administration, have sensitized students to get the message across and become change agents within their families and a stimulus to community development.
An International Partnership
ERCS in partnership with Austrian Red Cross and Austrian Development Agency has been implementing community based disaster risk reduction project (CBDRR) in Senbetge Kebele since 2011. The project has specific objectives of enhancing the awareness of the people in the intervention area towards disaster risk reduction and related health and hygiene practices, among others.
According to UNICEF, inadequate sanitation and personal hygiene are the main causes of diarrheal diseases, which is the second leading cause of death of young children. Each day more than 1600 children die as a result of diarrhea, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined.