Addis Ababa
115 million

With 58 million people in Ethiopia lacking clean water close to home, COVID-19 is a real threat.

We’re working to provide essential handwashing materials and emergency water tanks in healthcare facilities and COVID-19 isolation centres, and to roll out a national hygiene and sanitation behaviour change campaign. Keep up to date via the WaterAid East Africa Twitter and our global hub page:

Our global response to COVID-19

Water, toilets and hygiene in Ethiopia

How do you get clean water to the poorest and hardest to reach people? Put the systems in place for toilets to change lives day after day, year after year? Make sure people can practise good hygiene when climate change brings disaster?

These are some of the challenges we face in Ethiopia, a dry country vulnerable to climate change. Almost half of the country’s 115 million people don’t have clean water.

But Ethiopia has made impressive progress over the past 20 years. It achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the number of people without clean water. 

people don't have access to clean water.

That's half the population.

people don't have a decent toilet.

Less than 10% people in Ethiopia have a decent toilet.

children under five die each year from diarrhoea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

What does WaterAid do in Ethiopia?

We will build on our strong reputation in Ethiopia to reach everyone with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Together with the Government, businesses and you, we will make a bigger difference. A lasting difference.

Reaching rural Ethiopia

WaterAid/Behailu Shiferaw
We drank whatever was available to us – rivers, streams, rain, floods – anything that was accessible and came in the form of water, we used. It made us sick though.
Ferenji Amenji, 81

Ferenji's village is small, home to fewer than 200 people. Here, drinking dirty water was a normal part of life. “We didn’t get to pick and choose what water we drank,” he explains. “People got sick all the time.”

We helped bring clean water to Ferenji’s village using a 400-metre pipe from a clean spring on a hill. A concrete top protects it from animals and floods. It ensures that the water piped down to the centre of the village remains clean.

81-year-old Ferenji is thrilled about the water supply. He says, “I will die knowing my children will have water in their village.”


13 years of clean water

What can you remember about 2004? For Mehari, it was the year clean water first arrived in his village. Catch up with him, 13 years after that life-changing moment.

Priest Mehari stands by the front of his church in 2004, the year clean water arrived in his village in Northern Ethiopia.
WaterAid/Caroline Irby

Our Future on Tap appeal will reach communities in Ethiopia who are on the frontline of climate change.

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Join an event, fundraise with friends or find your own way to transform lives.

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