WaterAid Ethiopia and Heineken Foundation launch WASH phase II COVID 19 response project in Ethiopia

12 August 2021
Hawa (44, right) and her daughter Kadija (14, left) carrying water from the River Lah in Frat, Ethiopia. February 2020
Image: WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence

27 July 2021, Ethiopia

Since the first COVID-19 case was discovered in Ethiopia on 13 March, 2020, WaterAid Ethiopia has been supporting Government actions in combatting the pandemic as it is closely linked to the organisation’s commitment to advance WASH. Building on its experience, the organisation has been promoting the three behaviours: frequent handwashing with soap, social/physical distancing and use of face masks as well as provision of WASH services to communities, schools, Health Care Facilities (HCFs) and public places.

Tackling COVID-19 requires a comprehensive package including interventions that will contribute to protecting people and prevent the disease from spreading. Taking this into consideration, WaterAid implemented the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC) Project in 2020/21 that focused on promoting key hygiene behaviours such as handwashing with soap, respiratory hygiene (covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and wearing a mask in public places), maintaining physical distance and cleaning frequently touched surfaces to reduce the risk of COVID 19 transmission. The organisation achieved credible results using mass media to share public messages on hygiene behavior change.

On the other hand, as part of its corporate responsibility, Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF) has been supporting four WaterAid Country Programmes in Africa (Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, and Nigeria) since mid-2020 through its 1st Phase COVID-19 Response Programme. According to reviews, the 1st phase added significant value in preventing the pandemic and good experiences were gained.  WaterAid Ethiopia has now joined the 2nd Phase of the Programme as the fifth Country Programme of WaterAid.

WaterAid Ethiopia will implement this 2nd Phase Project from May 2021 to March 2022 in Addis Ababa City Administration and Harar Town. The project in Harar town and three sub-cities of Addis Ababa (Kolfe Keranio, Gulale and Akaki/Kality), is expected to benefit 115,178 people (men, women, children, people with disabilities, vulnerable and marginalised persons) by improving WASH facilities and raising peoples' awareness about essential behaviours. To reach the beneficiaries, the organisation will primarily work with the government, healthcare workers, and communities.

The overall objective of this project is to reduce exposure to COVID 19 by improving the key hygiene behavior change practices and increasing access to safe and improved WASH facilities for target groups in communities and healthcare facilities. Additionally, it aims to strengthen the commitment and actions of targeted authorities for sustaining and scaling up WASH services.

WaterAid Ethiopia will facilitate the implementation of the project in collaboration with structures under the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water Irrigation and Energy as well as Addis Ababa Health Bureau, Addis Ababa and Harar Water Supply and Sewerage Authorities and Heineken Ethiopia.


For more information, please contact:  
Mekdim Hailu, Communication & Campaign Specialist, [email protected], +251911689392

Notes to Editors


WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, www.wateraid.org/ethiopia; follow @WA_Ethiopia on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WaterAidEthiopia.