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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Government of Ethiopia announced a remarkable achievement in the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector as it met Target 10 of the MDG 7c  for access to drinking water supply.Yet, due to less access for improved water sources and sanitation facilities, the people of Sidama Zone suffered a lot and faced different water born diseases.

The Government of Ethiopia announced a remarkable achievement in the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector as it met Target 10 of the MDG 7c  for access to drinking water supply. And also, the 2015 assessment report by the UNICEF/WHO Global Joint Monitoring Programme for Water and Sanitation (JMP) indicates that Ethiopia has met the target of 57 per cent[1] of the population using safe drinking water and has attained the target by halving the number of people without access to safe water since 1990. Yet the truth on the ground is different specially in case of Sidama.  According to IRC baseline KPC survey conducted in the Sidama Zone, only 7% of households reported using a latrine, whilst 93% percent practiced open defecation. There have been outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea in Sidama. The 2009-2011 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) for SNNPR estimated that up to 65,260 people were affected by acute watery diarrhea. Moreover, due to less access for improved water sources and sanitation facilities, the people of Aroresa, Bensa, Bona Zuria and Chire woredas of Sidama Zone in SNNPR suffered a lot and faced different water born diseases. The distance for fetching water is far from the villages of most communities and students will take a responsibility to search for water. And due to long distance travel for searching water and due to different water born diseases, students drop out rate from class is very high and this become an obstacle for the students future.

Grounds for Health is a non-profit organization, developed in partnership with the coffee industry with the mission of reducing cervical cancer among low-income women. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among women in low resource settings, yet it is easily preventable through screening and treatment of precancerous lesions. Worldwide, an estimated 317,000 women will die from cervical cancer in 2015, with this number expected to increase to 443,000 deaths in 2030. Our programs provide cervical cancer prevention services to women in coffee growing communities in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Peru.
Because coffee is often cultivated in rural, low-resource settings, few women in coffee growing communities have access to cervical cancer screening and preventive treatment. To address this problem, Grounds for Health works in partnership with health authorities and coffee cooperatives in developing countries to train local doctors, nurses and community health promoters, and coordinate screening and treatment services in communities most affected by cervical cancer. Coffee cooperatives play an important role in the collaboration by ensuring buy-in and participation of community leaders, conducting outreach to coffee growing families, providing transportation for women to access services, and when necessary, providing social and economic support to families affected by cervical cancer.
Grounds for Health photo for JavaJog
Proposed Use of Funds from JavaJog
In Ethiopia, Grounds for Health is partnering with the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union and their primary co-ops in the Sidama zone, as well as the Sidama Zone Health Department and Regional Health Bureau of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region to bring much-needed cervical cancer prevention services to women. Initially launched in Wonsho district in September of 2014, the program has screened 694 women and treated 74 women who were identified with early signs of cancer. In 2015, GFH plans to expand to four additional coffee growing districts in Sidama: Aleta Wondo, Dale, Shebedino and Dara. Funding for clinical training of local health professionals, medical equipment, and an initial community health promoter (CHP) training has been secured with support from North American coffee roasters participating in the East Vs. West Roaster’s Challenge. Additional funding from Java Jog would be used to directly benefit 1,200 women from the Telamo coffee cooperative, a primary co-op of SCFCU in Shebedino District of Sidama zone.
Specific activities would include a stakeholder meeting with community partners, a CHP training, and screen-and-treat campaign for women associated with Telamo co-op. A grant of $10,000 would provide screening and treatment, when necessary, to approximately 400 women in addition to training for 30 CHPs. A grant of $20,000 would expand the program exponentially; reaching approximately 1,200 women with direct services and training 60 CHPs, in addition to covering the cost of a cold coagulator, a device for treating precancer. A cold coagulator would be a major asset to the program with lasting benefits: compared to the current method of treatment, cold coagulation is faster, easier to maintain, has fewer recurring costs, and is easily transported. With a cold coagulator, GFH would be able to initiate mobile services, making preventive treatment accessible for thousands more women in Sidama.
Read more at: javajog.org

File photo: A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Full text of 'Declaration of Principles' signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia 
In an important step towards resolving a long-running dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam, the leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed in Khartoum a declaration of principles as follows

Ahram Online publishes a translated version of the "Declaration of Principles" signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in a step to put an end to a four-year dispute over Nile water sharing arrangements among Nile Basin countries. Ten principles are outlined in the document signed by the three countries.
Valuing the increasing need of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of the Sudan for their over-border water sources, and realising the importance of the Nile River as a source of life and a vital source for the development of the people of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the three countries have committed themselves to the following principles concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam:
1. Principle of cooperation:
- Cooperation based on mutual understanding, common interest, good intentions, benefits for all, and the principles of international law.
- Cooperation in understanding the water needs of upstream and downstream countries across all their lands.
2. Principle of development, regional integration and sustainability:
The purpose of the Renaissance Dam is to generate power, contribute to economic development, promote cooperation beyond borders, and regional integration through generating clean sustainable energy that can be relied on.
3. Principle of not causing significant damage:
- The three countries will take all the necessary procedures to avoid causing significant damage while using the Blue Nile (the Nile's main river).
- In spite of that, in case significant damage is caused to one of these countries, the country causing the damage [...], in the absence of an agreement over that [damaging] action, [is to take] all the necessary procedures to alleviate this damage, and discuss compensation whenever convenient.
4. Principle of fair and appropriate use:
- The three countries will use their common water sources in their provinces in a fair and appropriate manner.
- To ensure fair and appropriate use, the three countries will take into consideration all guiding elements mentioned below:
a. The geographic, the geographic aquatic, the aquatic, the climatical, environmental elements, and the rest of all natural elements.
b. Social and economic needs for the concerned Nile Basin countries.
c. The residents who depend on water sources in each of the Nile Basin countries.
d. The effects of using or the uses of water sources in one of the Nile Basin countries on another Nile Basin country.
e. The current and possible uses of water sources.
f. Elements of preserving, protecting, [and] developing [water sources] and the economics of water sources, and the cost of the procedures taken in this regard.
g. The extent of the availability of alternatives with a comparable value for a planned or a specific use.
h. The extent of contribution from each of the Nile Basin countries in the Nile River system.
i. The extent of the percentage of the Nile Basin's space within the territories of each Nile Basin country.
5. The principle of the dam's storage reservoir first filling, and dam operation policies:
- To apply the recommendations of the international technical experts committee and the results of the final report of the Tripartite National Technical Committee during different stages of the dam project.
- The three countries should cooperate to use the final findings in the studies recommended by the Tripartite National Technical Committee and international technical experts in order to reach:
a. An agreement on the guidelines for different scenarios of the first filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reservoir in parallel with the construction of the dam.
b. An agreement on the guidelines and annual operation policies of the Renaissance Dam, which the owners can adjust from time to time.
c. To inform downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, on any urgent circumstances that would call for a change in the operations of the dam, in order to ensure coordination with downstream countries' water reservoirs.
- Accordingly the three countries are to establish a proper mechanism through their ministries of water and irrigation.
- The timeframe for such points mentioned above is 15 months from the start of preparing two studies about the dam by the international technical committee.
6. The principle of building trust:
- Downstream countries will be given priority to purchase energy generated by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
7. The principle of exchange of information and data:
- Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will provide the information and data required to conduct the studies of the national experts committees from the three countries in the proper time.
8. The principle of dam security:
- The three countries appreciate all efforts made by Ethiopia up until now to implement the recommendations of the international experts committee regarding the safety of the dam.
- Ethiopia will continue in good will to implement all recommendations related to the dam's security in the reports of the international technical experts.
9. The principle of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the State:
The three countries cooperate on the basis of equal sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the state, mutual benefit and good will, in order to reach the better use and protection of the River Nile.
10. The principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes:
The three countries commit to settle any dispute resulting from the interpretation or application of the declaration of principles through talks or negotiations based on the good will principle. If the parties involved do not succeed in solving the dispute through talks or negotiations, they can ask for mediation or refer the matter to their heads of states or prime ministers.

Read more at: english.ahram.org
Trachoma affects overwhelmingly more women than men because it is often carried by young children, who reinfect their mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers.
Dr Wondu Alemayehu, a world-renowned Ethiopian eye surgeon, is working with international development NGO The Fred Hollows Foundation to eradicate blinding trachoma in Ethiopia.
"It’s heartbreaking. Mothers, who are the pillars of their families in Ethiopia, are shouldering the burden of this crisis," Dr Wondu told Al Jazeera.
"We must urgently provide more antibiotics, more mobile surgical teams, and better access to clean water and sanitation. I’ve spent 30 years fighting trachoma and I hate this disease so much."
Brian Doolan, chief executive of The Fred Hollows Foundation, said trachoma is known as the "quiet disease" because it destroys eyesight very slowly.
"This is not a typical emergency, it's not a war or a natural disaster, but it could still have a devastating impact on millions of people."
Read more at: www.aljazeera.com