Kedo Abdula washes her hands with ashes outside her family’s latrine, in the village of Maderia, in Gemechis, a woreda (district) of Oromia Region. “It’s been a year since my husband built this latrine,” she said. “In the past, we used to share a latrine with three other households. We decided to build our own because, when there are a lot of children in the other households, it’s difficult to keep the latrine clean, exposing the children to different diseases.” Twenty-one-month-old Fenete Abdela is the couple’s only child. Ms. Abdula hopes to have three or four children but is currently practicing family planning; she hopes to try for another child when Fenete reaches 3 or 4 years of age. “When I was growing up, I had three sisters and two brothers, she said. “My mother didn't plan her children, and I can see the differences between my childhood and my daughter's. I'm taking good care of my daughter – breastfeeding and nutritional foods. My mother had many children to look after. How can I give proper care to many children? It's not possible. My father was an old man; my mother had to work for the survival of the family. I had to withdraw from school as we didn't have the money to pay for books, but I'll make sure that I send Fenete to school.” Ms. Abdula's brother also had to withdraw from school for monetary reasons. He later died from an illness at age 8. Ms. Abdula’s younger brother and two younger sisters continue to go to school; her other sister does not attend school. Ms. Abdula's husband is a farmer; he mostly grows cereals, such as maize, sorghum and wheat. She supports their livelihood by feeding the livestock, cooking, cleaning and washing laundry for the family, in addition to looking after Fenete..
In July/August 2014, Ethiopia is nearing the end of a joint European Union (EU)-UNICEF national nutrition security programme that is building on government-led efforts to permanently reduce the rates of under-five child and maternal under-nutrition. The programme is part of a four-year (2011–2015) UNICEF/EU global initiative, with multiple regional, national and community partners. It focuses on four countries in sub-Saharan Africa and five in Asia but aims to influence nutrition-related policies throughout these regions. The Africa programme – Africa’s Nutrition Security Partnership (ANSP) – focuses on Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali and Uganda. It is intended to benefit directly 1 million children and 600,000 pregnant and lactating women – and to benefit indirectly 25 million children and 5.5 million pregnant or lactating women across the continent over the long term. At the macro level, the programme builds policy capacity for nutrition security; institutional capacity; data and knowledge sharing; and the scale-up of nutrition interventions. At the national and district levels, it promotes government and community ownership of development processes, including training, mapping and the mobilization of intra-community networks, such as women’s groups. And it utilizes a cross-sector approach, combining nutrition, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and social protection interventions to maximize the positive effects on child and maternal nutrition. The goal is generational change in both institutional and individual beliefs and actions on nutrition – contributing, as well, to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Nesbitt
Photo prise le 29 mai 2015 (© UNICEF Ethiopia / Flickr)