Project proposal example

Below is an actual funding proposal to a WaterAid corporate partner to support a rural project in Hintalo Wajerat, Ethiopia. for two years (2008/09 and 2009/10) with a donation of £90,000 per annum (October 2007). Please note that statistics could be out of date.


Ethiopia is the fourth largest and second most populous country in Africa and is a land of great contrasts. Despite a rich and unique religious and cultural history, it has become better known for its periodic droughts and famines, and for its long civil war and subsequent border conflict with Eritrea.

Although improving, Ethiopia is still one of the poorest countries in the world, where life expectancy is just 47 years. Only 22% of the population has access to safe water and just 6% have access to adequate sanitation./p>

The impact of this situation on health is dire. Water related diseases are rife, and child mortality is high. Illnesses caused by drinking dirty water and lack of sanitation are the biggest killers of children worldwide and in Ethiopia, 17 out of every 100 children will die before they reach their fifth birthday.

WaterAid started funding projects in Ethiopia in 1983 and began working through established non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in 1986. We work closely with eight local NGOs, the local private sector and local and regional government departments in water, sanitation and hygiene projects. We also work with a wide range of other organisations in networks to influence water and sanitation policies.

Since 1983 we have helped over 820,000 people in Ethiopia gain access to safe water, worked to influence government policy and introduced sustainable technologies such as the ecological latrine and rope pump to Ethiopia.


This project is focused in Hintalo Wajerat in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, 730km north of Addis Ababa. Our work will operate in 11 villages, and will enable 14,750 people to gain access to safe water and effective sanitation. The implementing partner for this multiyear project is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC/DICAC).

Poor land productivity, health, education, water supply and sanitation coverage, alongside low income and poor infrastructure make Tigray one of the poorest parts of Ethiopia. 

In 2004, we recorded that only 10% and 2% of the population had access to a safe water supply and sanitation facilities respectively. Most of the traditional water sources are inaccessible, often unreliable and unsafe to use. On average, people living in rural areas have to travel between six to eight hours to these water sources. The water shortage in the area is particularly problematic for women, who do most of the water collection.

There is a general lack of awareness and practice of personal hygiene or environmental sanitation, with most community members not washing their hands after going to the toilet or before preparing food.

The majority of communities do not have latrines or defined sites for refuse disposal. In some villages, it is not unusual for livestock and humans to share a living space and often there is no separate room designated as a kitchen. These factors all lead to high incidences of bacterial and diarrhoeal diseases. 

The time spent collecting water and the poor quality of the water prevents women from undertaking household duties, growing food and earning money. Children are also affected as the poor water quality makes them ill and prevents them going to school. Children, especially girls, also often have to help fetch water, which leaves them with no time to attend school even when they are well. 


This project began in April 2007, and will run until March 2010. The overarching objectives are to enable the targeted communities to gain access to safe water and sanitations and to adopt hygienic behaviour. Research has shown that integrating hygiene education into water and sanitation projects greatly increases the impact of a project on the targeted community.

WaterAid has found that combining water supply, sanitation facilities and hygiene education activities can reduce incidences of childhood diarrhoea by up to 95%, instead of just 15% with improved water quality alone. These figures explain why WaterAid believes that communities can only gain the full benefits from projects when water, sanitation and hygiene education are combined, enabling communities to escape the spiral of poverty and gain a better quality of life.

Another important objective is to provide support to the community in the project area, strengthening their local capacity for a self sustained and gender sensitive water, hygiene and sanitation program. Part of this support will be training to ensure that the water sources are maintained in a sustainable way, and that contamination is avoided. 

The project will also introduce sustainable technologies, such as gravity flow schemes and develop sustainability focused schemes, such as water source conservation activities. 

The activities in 2008/9 will build upon the foundations laid in the first year of the project and are indicative of the activities that will also take place in 2009/10. Activities in 2008/9 will include:

Water supply

  • Construction of four gravity water supply schemes.
  • Construction of five protected springs. 
  • Construction of eight hand dug wells fitted with hand pumps.
  • Construction of a rain water catchment scheme for a school.
  • Construction of a rain water catchment scheme for a health centre.

All water supply infrastructure construction will be accompanied by the construction of separate ash basins and cattle troughs at water points, to ensure that drinking water quality is kept free of contamination. 

Sanitation and hygiene promotion 

  • Construction of traditional pit latrines for 1,350 households.
  • Construction of safe waste disposal pits for 1,600 households.
  • Construction of two ventilated improved pit latrines.
  • Eight ‘sanitation week celebrations’ promoting sanitation and hygienic behaviour.
  • Hygiene promotion activities reaching 10,000 people.
  • Hygienic household training sessions for 2,000 households.

Production and distribution of 5,000 hygiene and sanitation posters.Traditional pit latrines are built using locally available materials, by members of the community trained in construction techniques. The construction of two ventilated improved pit latrines will enable the community to learn how to improve traditional pit latrines.

Community capacity building and ownership

As mentioned above, capacity building is essential to the success and sustainability of any project. This project will ensure that the community is equipped to manage the new infrastructure and adopt hygiene behaviour by:

  • Establishing 18 community water and sanitation committees. 
  • Training 36 water technicians to handle day to day maintenance of facilities.
  • Training 36 community health educators.
  • Training two health extension agents to conduct the day to day monitoring of project activities. 
  • Conducting capacity building training for four members of partner staff.
  • Training eight junior hygiene and sanitation officers to provide information to communities.

Environmental conservation

The project area is extremely de-forested and over-grazed. The traditional agriculture systems coupled with the community's limited land husbandry knowledge aggravates soil erosion and leads to springs and streams drying up. This project will initiate soil and water conservation projects by facilitating knowledge sharing between the communities involved in this project and previous communities that EOC/DICAC has worked with to conserve water sources.

The total budget for this project is £180,000 / £90,000 per annum.

This will enable 14,750 people to gain access to water, sanitation and hygiene.