Sustainable WASH is a five-year project agreement with Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), a consortium involving CARE, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, FH Ethiopia, IRC WASH and WaterAid.

Each of the consortium members is responsible for leading different activities in three woredas in Amhara region. The need for this intervention comes from deeply rooted WASH system challenges in the target districts of Amhara National Regional State.

What does this programme aim to do?

The goal of Sustainable WASH is to contribute to Ethiopia’s nationwide target of delivering safe, affordable and sustainable water services to everyone, everywhere by 2030.

In 2018-19, the project, in its pilot phase, undertook an extensive review of government documents, gathered data through a series of 10 assessments and engaged in ongoing discussions with woreda, zonal, and regional governments.

We expanded previous pilots to new partners and woredas, aiming to increase learning about self-supply and dispensers for clean water to inform future work.

These activities helped to gather evidence about the current WASH situation, examine critical challenges, and diagnose underlying causes.

Key challenges

Based on the above foundations, this project focuses on five key challenges with targeted interventions:

  1. Institutions responsible for water service delivery are unable to provide adequate services because they do not have the systems and structures to mobilise required resources. They do not have the capacity to manage existing water systems or accountability mechanisms for service providers, or to make use of evidence to reach a decision. The assessment proves there is a need to strengthen strategic aspects of the system to raise service delivery levels as well as keep the infrastructure sustainable.
  2. School administrators and woreda education offices do not have adequate resources (financial, knowledge and capacity) to ensure that adequate WASH services exist in schools. WASH in Schools data from the Ministry of Education (MoE) shows that less than 20% of schools have handwashing facilities available and only 33% of primary schools have a functional water supply.
  3. Woreda health offices and health facilities lack the resources to provide decent WASH services to patients and staff. A 2018 study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the focus woredas showed only 52% of mid-size facilities serving approximately 1,000 patients per month have access to water, and over 50% of water samples tested from sites with water were positive for presence of E. coli. The situation at rural health posts was shown to be far worse.
  4. Service delivery accountability mechanisms are weak; local monitoring systems cannot provide necessary information; and funding and capacity are insufficient. There is limited and unreliable access to water, and we are concerned about rapidly growing small towns and dispersed rural households. Statistics show, on average in the woredas, only 31% of the population has access to either basic or safely managed water service delivery.
  5. There is minimal accountability for water quality in the woredas.  Community members, institutions and government technicians lack both the knowledge and the supplies to engage in drinking water treatment and water quality testing. Water quality is a crucial issue with a recent report by the Central Statistics Agency of Ethiopia noting that 99% of over 4,000 water samples from community water points fell into one of the contamination risk categories.

Expected outcomes

Some of the outcomes of this project include:

  • Improved access to safe and sustainable water and hygiene services in public schools using pilots and proven models to reach 7,500 students.
  • Improved access to safe and sustainable water and hygiene services at healthcare facilities implementing tested models to reach 110,000 healthcare recipients.
  • An increase in equitable and sustainable access to improved water supply for households through the deployment of new and proven service modalities and technologies to reach 12,250 people by 2024.
  • An uplift in equitable and sustainable access to improved sanitation and hygiene practice through innovative approaches to reach 21,200 people by 2024.

How much will it cost?

The overall budget for the project amounts to USD $1,742,188 million. The project began on 1 April, 2019 and it’s expected to be completed by 31 March, 2024.