EOTC-DICAC with special emphasis on North Gondar WaSH Projects
Development and Interchurch Aid Commission is an independent church-based humanitarian organization. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church had established the Commission on 5th of January 1972 to assist the refugees and returnee, quenching the thirst of rural people, helping the vulnerabilities and improving the livelihoods of the rural people. It has embarked from emergency relief with development continuum. In the course of time, it incorporated other social issues such as WASH, biogas development, prevention of HIV/AIDS and environmental protection. Using the structures of the church stretched from patriarchate to the parish churches, the commission has easily been trickling down the development concepts and mobilizing the society to trap the root causes of poverty. DICAC strictly pursues and implements the values of the church witnessed in the Bible as ''Learn to do right, seek justice, encourage the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17): I want you to share your food with the hungry and bring right to those who are helpless, poor and destitute". These values have necessitated DICAC to patron those persons regardless of political opinion, religious affiliations, race and other biases that debilitate the doctrines of the church.
DICAC is the first of its kind in arriving at North Gonder zone with the project named “North Gondar Water Supply, Hygiene and Sanitation Promotion Project (WSSHPP)”. Gradually, it extended its horizons with other development issues. Established in1993 and making its office at Aykel town of Chilga Woreda, the project has provided the local people with potable water within their vicinities. Seeing that ‘Water is life if it is kept clean', the project has considered educating the community on Hygiene & Sanitation. Due to the pressing needs of the communities in the zone, the project transferred its office to Gondar town in 1996. Since then, as it had done before, the project has continued mitigating the acute needs of the communities by developing gravity Water Supply Scheme at Atsedemariam village in Alefa Taqusa wereda. It is one of the many typical examples accomplished so far. DICAC discharges its duties and responsibilities without favoring its followers and discriminating none of its believers. The contributions it had made in Meqdela in South Wollo and in Metema in North Gondar where more than 95% of the communities are Muslims can be cited as a glaring example for its doctrine of impartiality and non-discrimination.
Reasons for the sustainability of project outputs
Responsibility emanates from genuine participation and authority. DICAC gives its staff members to perform their duties with full-fledged responsibilities and accountability. The communities and local stakeholders are involved in a participatory approach starting from the project inception, problem identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the projects. Misunderstanding due to symbolic community participation will have an effect on project outputs sustaianability and ownership feeling. The communities’ willingness for contribution in cash, free labor & supply of locally available materials during implementation are very important in the proper management and care of the project outputs. This entails ownership, long term use and sustainability. Proper handing over and giving required capacity building to the concerned bodies ensures sustainability and ownership.
The truth has been witnessed by its beneficiaries, government officials and the funding partners. The North Gondar projects are some of the outstanding achievements of the commission. The Project had benefited 25, 2524 residents of 81 kebeles in18 Districts with a total budget of Birr 30,200,000 from 1993- 2012. Presently, the project has been undertaking water supply, hygiene & sanitation activities in Dirmara, Mequamia, Gana Yohannes, Senbet Debir, & Bua Semano kebeles of Dembia Districts. In this district the project has planned to develop 2 Gravity Water Supply, 13 Spot Spring Developments, 35 Hand Dug Wells, 14 Shallow Wells, 5,227 Traditional Pit Latrines, 5,227 Refues Disposal Pits, and 14 Blocks of Institutional Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines. Furthermore the project has planned the following activities:- Construction of 2 Biogas for the households, Promotion of Health & Sanitation Education for 29,000 people, Construction of 5KMs Check dams & 60KMs soil bunds & Training of about 700 people in different disciplines. Upto this time, 9,250 people have been trained on importance of safe water, 15,681 people have used proper sanitation facilities, 8,096 people have acquired knowledge on the significance of hygiene and 2,000 domestic animals have got access to safe water.
DICAC has accumulated a number of tangible experiences. The experiences have been obtained mainly through frequent interactions with the beneficiary communities. It is palatable to say that staff members of the project spend much of their time with the end users to understand and solve their problems. DICAC believes learning from practice. DICAC clearly understands the significance of genuine participation of user communities in all stages of the project and working with pertinent partners for ensuring sustaianability and ownership feeling. The Government Officials at different levels of responsibilities are of paramount importance for facilitating the activities of the project.
Roles of funding partners
Finance is a fulcrum for achieving any project aactivitiers planned. Technical assistance & material supplies are other significant assets for the attainment of the objectives and goals set in any development projects. Therefore, funding partners are important for project implementation. The funding partners include Water Aid, European Union, National Council of Churches of Australia, etc. Water Aid Ethiopia is our long term partners for the implementation of Water supply, Hygiene & Sanitation Promotion Projects of DICAC in North Gonder. DICAC appreciates the committment and generosity of funding parners for the realization of the project outputs. The beneficiaries are therefore always grateful for the contributions the funding partners have rendered to solve their long standing problems of getting clean water, proper hygiene & sanitation facilities.
EOC-DICAC Gondar Branch Office
P.O.Box 503 952
Addis Ababa Gondar
Tel. 251 11155 35 66 251581111746/0317
Fax: 251 111551455 251581111746
For amharic version