Community Partnership for Relief and Development (COPRED) | Malawi
Our partners are at the center of our work as the experts on their communities and sustainable solutions. As such, we make it a priority to check in with them to see how they’re doing and to ensure that we are serving them in truly helpful and meaningful ways. So in our recent conversation with COPRED, we were glad to hear from the Executive Director, Jimmy, and his team about how they’re doing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi.
In mid-January 2021, Malawi saw a tremendous spike in COVID-19 cases, so COPRED intensified their efforts to build and rehabilitate over 400 WASH facilities for over 1,000 individuals, and spread best practices for hygiene and sanitation, as well as accurate information about vaccines. They also trained 50 mother groups on WASH and nutrition, completed over 260 household cooking demonstrations, and counseled 21 breastfeeding mothers on proper infant feeding.
COPRED has continued to adapt their work in order to quickly implement live-saving measures to keep people healthy in the face of COVID-19. They have switched to doing more of their team work remotely / online, and are continuing to use their resources to help their team work efficiently in spite of changing circumstances.
Drop of Water (DoW) | Ethiopia
Drop of Water has also experienced a great deal of change in the past year, between the pandemic and the upheaval in the Tigray region of Ethiopia that they were working in. They were unable to continue working in that area, and so are instead looking towards another region of Ethiopia with significant WASH needs. DoW’s response has shown their remarkable ability to pivot, as well as the possibilities their organization has to impact communities throughout Ethiopia.
The DoW team is working on establishing a presence in the Sidama region of Ethiopia, as well as gaining a full understanding of the communities therein. They have the tools and drive needed to achieve their caliber of work in this new area, and they have our full support!
Although DoW has pivoted to a new geographical region, the importance of water and sanitation in the area remains the same. In Ethiopia, unsafe water is still a major crisis with more than 50 million individuals still in need of support. Furthermore, rural communities are in need of sanitation facilities in order to wash their hands and stay healthy.
DoW is now focusing on Bursa woreda, in the Sidama region of Ethiopia (compared to U.S. terminology, a woreda is similar to a district within a county or zone, whereas a region is more like a state). Sidama is a newer region, founded in June 2020, and is a leader in coffee production in Ethiopia. Despite being rich in water resources, access to safe, clean water, as well as a lack of proper sanitation and hygiene remains a serious issue.
DoW traveled to Bursa to meet with the community and the government, where they found out there was no local organization working on WASH in the area yet. The government was welcoming and excited to discuss in detail what DoW’s work would look like in their area. Their water bureau already had plans and studies for use in implementing water solutions, so DOW was able to hit the ground running with them!
Drop of Water has identified twelve sites for water points, ten in the community and two in schools. They plan on implementing holistic WASH solutions. As of March, all of these water points were already 70% completed, with community members for WASH committees identified and community mobilization in the works!
DoW’s overall grant project will aim to improve the health of rural villagers in Bursa woreda – especially women and young girls – through access to sustainable, safe water, and improved hygiene and sanitation. They will also implement a small-scale Climate Resilience–Water Safety Plan (CR-WSP) with WASH promotion for the new water points and beneficiaries.
We are so grateful to work with such resilient, innovative, and inspiring partner organizations as we strive to make a difference for our brothers and sisters in sub-Saharan Africa! You can be the fuel for our partners’ work here.