Addis Ababa
105 million

We are saddened and concerned to hear about the crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia, and hope for a peaceful resolution. The situation is not directly affecting the majority of our programmes, including our work in Frat in the Amhara region, the focus of our Future on Tap appeal, so we will continue to raise funds to help deliver our projects to bring vital clean water, decent sanitation and hygiene facilities to communities in climate-vulnerable areas. We had one programme in the Tigray region, which has unfortunately been paused due to the security risk.

We are closely monitoring the situation, and when it improves, will assess how water and sanitation provision may have been disrupted in areas affected by the crisis and where we can, where necessary, help rebuild facilities.

The impact of COVID-19

With over 60 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 would 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 six in ten of the country’s 105 million people don’t have clean water.

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. And between 2000 and 2017 the number of people practising open defecation halved from 1.3 billion to 673 million.

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.

people don't have clean water.

That's almost 61.95 million people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

Just one in ten people do.

children under 5 die each year from diarrhoea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

Reaching rural Ethiopia

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.

WaterAid/Caroline Irby

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


Keep up to date with WaterAid Ethiopia on social media.

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