Seble Demise, 28, lives together with her family of six in a small compacted room in one of the slums of Adama city in the Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia.
Seble, who was forced to assume sole responsibility for her extended family’s daily requirements at a very young age, for years endured due to the lack of proper sanitation facility for her family.
While the family struggled for daily subsistence without a dedicated sanitation facility, Seble and her relatives came across a life-changing opportunity through the FINISH (Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation & Health) Mondial Project. “When they (experts from the project) first told me that I could have a toilet inside my compound, which is very narrow, I thought they were being sarcastic about it,” Seble said.
“How can one manage to build a toilet within such a very tight space?” she asks. “I thought it was impossible to do so.”
After being briefed and consulted on the different construction approaches and financial opportunities available to construct the toilet, Seble came to the conclusion that the method might work.
“To be honest, even though I was convinced that the approach is somewhat realistic, I had still doubt that one can dig deep and build a toilet within a radius of fewer than two meters. How is it possible?” she stressed.
Despite her hesitation, Seble, however, decided to give the idea a try, much to the unbearable challenge that she had endured due to the lack of a proper household sanitation facility at her family’s disposal.
“When deciding to engage in this innovative idea, I said to myself – God’s willing this might end our suffering. Indeed, it does,” she affirmed.
The FINISH Mondial Project, which is implemented by Amref Health Africa and BBBC in the Oromia region, envisaged enabling vulnerable households such as Seble with safe sanitation facilities.