Skip to main content

A new effort in responding to COVID-19 in Negelle Arsi and Shashamane

Published on: 12/01/2021

IRC WASH Ethiopia is supporting Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas on knowledge management around COVID-19.

In Hawassa town, both Districts discussed future COVID-19 response activities

In partnership with Amref Health Africa under the WASH First COVID-19 Response Project, IRC WASH Ethiopia is supporting Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas on knowledge management. The purpose of the project is to coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control interventions at woreda, zone, region and national levels. The project will assist stakeholders to convene meetings and document learnings and plan review and distribution of relevant information and materials to the frontline health workers and communities. 

On December 21, 2020, the project organised a planning meeting with the participation of project beneficiary woredas and towns in Hawassa. The head of Shashamane Town Health Office, Teshome Mohammed, was one of the participants at the meeting. He said the meeting discussed the future response activities and reached consensus on what action to take. Teshome learned that the project will support them on WASH infrastructure, personal protective equipment, and behavioural change communication. He also indicated working in collaboration with the government is effective.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the public took precautionary measures seriously, but overtime carelessness is creeping in. Therefore, this project is an opportunity for the community, according to Erko Bayicha, Negelle Arsi Woreda's Health Office Public Health Emergency Officer.

Samuel Girma is Amref Health Africa's WASH Project Manager. According to Samuel, Amref has supported the government's COVID-19 response. After reviewing their previous activities as a lead consortium member, Amref has planned for this new WASH First COVID-19 response on behalf of WASH SDG program consortium. He said that the aim of the planning workshop was to create synergy among different sectors working on COVID-19 response and to jointly plan for future responses. Samuel also added that IRC WASH Ethiopia will play a great role in documentation and knowledge management activities which could be used as learning for other actors working on the response.

So far, the project conducted a launching and familiarisation workshop, signed an agreement with regional signatories and prepared a 2021 operation plan. With the proposed knowledge management platform, six stakeholder meetings will be held to review the progress and provide support. The progress review will observe the status of agreed actions, feedback on materials, and adjustment of WASH-related content in response to the pandemic. Consequently, communities, health workers, schools and WASH service providers will have a better understanding of mitigation measures against COVID-19. The project will phase out by November 30, 2021.