Ethiopia's water supply programs mapped


WaterAid Ethiopia's Senior Policy Officer, Abera Endeshaw, demonstrated how to use the Water Point Mapper at Stockholm World Water Week 2015.

The tool helps create high-quality maps and data for water supply programs in the developing world.

Mr. Endeshaw's presentation, Informing mobilization, planning and resource allocation using WPM in rural Ethiopia, detailed the importance of accurate data collection to the planning and monitoring of water programs. It looked at the use of the WPM in projects financed by WaterAid across eight districts and four regions of Ethiopia.

Abera Endeshaw, Senior Policy Officer, WaterAid Ethiopia

Mr. Endeshaw said: "The Water Point Mapper is aimed at local government planners and water, sanitation, hygiene field practitioners working on district, sub-district and village levels. We train local partners and officials to collect and update the data to better plan services and monitor usage."

"The real value of the tool is in providing information for use in decision-making. It enables local authorities to target investments and interventions into the areas with the greatest need, extending the water services with equity."

"Based on a simple spreadsheet, it instantly converts water point data into Google Earth maps without the need for complex software or even an internet connection, which can be crucial in remote rural areas."

"WPM data has already indicated that the water services in some districts are serving beyond their standard capacity, which may ultimately lead to a shorter life span for current water technologies. Such monitoring should mean that local officials will be better placed to anticipate and intervene to keep the water running."

Mr. Endeshaw continued: "This is only a small example of why collecting accurate data on water supply services is important, and can lead to better planning for more targeted and effective water management".

"The Water Point Mapper has proven effective and has gained recognition from the Ministry of Water and Energy, Government of Ethiopia, who are piloting the tool in 58 districts with the support of WaterAid. WaterAid is calling for a world where everyone, everywhere has access to clean water by 2030, and having accurate information on water supply services is a crucial component in making this happen."