Written by Tesfahun Zewdie, Disaster Prevention and Response Head at ERCS South Wollo, Dessie, Amhara Regional Branch.

The micro project “Welfare Improvement through accessing sanitation and hygiene facilities in Dessie city” aimed to build the capacity of vulnerable women and the disabled in business and facility management, thereby contributing to the sustainable access and use of improved public toilet and shower services, while also creating job opportunities for youth and women from the public toilet and shower services.  This intervention also adopted biogas technology to reduce the cost of emptying latrine by recycling human waste and also used as alternative sources of energy.

ERCS South Wollow branch completed the construction of public toilet and shower facility with biogas system at the main bus station in Dessie city of Ethiopia.

The bio-digester used in this project is a fixed brick-constructed dome chamber which is built below ground lined with bricks to contain high pressures of gas.

The constructed public toilet, shower and biogas system will be managed by an SME group established to run the facilities and generate income. Trainings on biogas system operation, financial management and business plan preparation were provided to the SME members who are mostly women migrant returnees.