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Donation to Estepona Ethiopia Link

Donation to Estepona Ethiopia Link

Monday, 15. December 2014 - 13:15

By Richard Hayes

We take toilets so much for granted these days in our part of the world that we can’t imagine how rare they are in most of the poorer countries. The lack of toilets and proper hygiene has terrible consequences. More than 2.5 billion people - nearly 40% of the world’s population - lack access to good sanitation such as clean water to wash with or proper toilets. Without such basic facilities, illnesses due to diarrhoea go unchecked, killing 2,000 children around the world every day. The problem is most acute in Africa. In sub-Saharan countries for instance, 1 in 3 people don’t have access to any form of sanitation, be it a tap or a toilet. Across the continent, diarrhoea is the leading killer of children under 5 years old, causing more deaths than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. But there are very simple solutions to this problem: clean water, hygienic toilets and effective handwashing.
Emilie Tieken and Richard Hayes, the founders of the Estepona-Ethiopia Link, were volunteers working in education in Ethiopia for two years and saw the need for better access to clean water and decent toilets. Since returning in 2011, they have been raising money for this purpose, among others. The first project financed with money raised here was the building of this well in a charity school for AIDS orphans:

In the countryside, people have to get their water from rivers and streams as you can see here: 
              
The danger is obvious: the animals contaminate the water. So, another project we have helped to finance is what is called ‘spring capping’. Where the streams come out of the hills, a water deposit is built with a pipe from which the water can be safely collected:

The water is filtered in the deposit behind the fountain where the water comes out. The local community is responsible for their maintenance and this gives the vital sense of ownership without which public facilities often get abused and abandoned.
The other concern is hygiene and particularly as it affects girls in school. When girls enter puberty they are often forced to skip classes or drop out of school, because there are no separate toilets for them which guarantee a minimum of privacy. Lack of separate and decent sanitation and washing facilities discourages girls who are menstruating from attending full time, often adding up to a significant proportion of school days missed. The Ethiopian government is making a big effort to get all girls in to school and at primary level 95% of them are attending. The danger is that they have a greater propensity to drop out, particularly as they enter puberty.  It has been demonstrated that girls’ education is one of the most important factors helping the development of a country. In traditional societies, girls drop out very young, at 12 or 13 to get married and start having children. Therefore, if girls can be encouraged to stay in school through secondary education they marry later, have fewer children, educate their children and are in a better position to work and stand up for their rights. But, even though as these societies develop girls want to stay in education, the lack of separate toilets means they suffer embarrassment and even molestation by boys and then they give up.
Our most recent project, therefore, has been to finance the building of separate girls’ toilets and this has been achieved in a Preparatory School in Nekemte, Ethiopia:

The Rotary Club of Marbella-Guadalmina has very generously donated 1,300 € to our charity and we intend to continue with our work of building girls’ toilets in as many schools as we can. One set of toilets with 6 cubicles costs around this sum to build. We will keep you informed of our progress. If you would like more information or to offer help of any kind, please contact us at: 952805272,  r.hayes.cambridge@gmail.com or Facebook: enlaceetiopia.