Ethiopia Program Background
MWA Ethiopia has worked to improve WASH access and local capacity in the country since 2004, improving WASH access near the homes of more than 700,000 people, as well as at a large number of schools and health facilities across five regions. This has been accomplished through the a partnership of eight international NGOs and five Ethiopian partners who match the critical funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The current program includes five of these international NGOs and multiple local partners.
MWA-EP has worked to improve WASH access and local capacity in the country since 2004, supporting over 700,000 people as well as a large number of schools and health facilities, across five regions. This has been accomplished through the a partnership of eight international NGOs and five Ethiopian partners. The current program includes five of these international NGOs and multiple local partners.
From 2011 to 2014, MWA members CARE, CRS, Living Water International (LWI), WaterAid, and World Vision will work to 1) Increase access to safe water for domestic and productive uses, 2) Increase access to basic sanitation, and 3) Improve hygiene practices (including hand-washing). MWA Ethiopia also acts as a learning platform through which MWA members, government stakeholders, and donors learn from each other, identify best practices, and engage in evidence-based advocacy for WASH issues in Ethiopia and donor countries.
The MWP-E will provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to approximately 483,000 people; including 83,000 students in 90 schools. Some of the students served in schools may come from communities that are not directly MWP-E intervention areas. Water and sanitation services will also be provided to approximately 36 health facilities that serve approximately 134,000 additional people (including people from both the communities served by the program and others who use the facilities).
OBJECTIVE 1: Increase WASH coverage
This objective will be implemented with special attention to under-served and marginalized areas, where the poorest of the poor tend to live, which are often among the most difficult and challenging areas in which to work. Special attention will also be given to vulnerable members of the population, such as those with disabilities. Gender equity will be promoted. The MWP-E will implement water, sanitation and hygiene as an integrated package, with equal attention paid to all WASH components. Sustainable low-cost WASH technologies appropriate to local conditions will be used, because lower costs allow limited funding to serve a maximum number of people.
OBJECTIVE 2: Achieve community-based Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
As a standard element of water scheme developments, MWA partners will promote the integration of micro-watershed and buffer zone development activities around protected water sources. Other natural resource conservation activities shall include the planting of shallow rooted plants around water points; construction of water retention structures up land of the sources; and drainage ditches for excess flow/flood from the upland catchments will be facilitated by the partners and government.
OBJECTIVE 3: Operate as a learning and policy influence alliance of USA-based WASH NGOs active in Ethiopia
The purpose of this objective is to improve the implementation activities of partners; contribute towards the harmonization and greater effectiveness of programs; and to raise awareness for the WASH sector in the Ethiopia and internationally. The MWP-E plans to take full advantage of the sophisticated M&E system developed for the program to systematically document lessons learned from implementation activities and to build an evidence base for the best practices that have proven to be effective, scalable, and sustainable.
Progress on outcomes will be incremental and cumulative over the three year period, as the number of intervention communities and completed WASH schemes grows. On a quarterly basis, data from the program's monitoring and evaluation system will be analyzed to ensure outcome targets are being met.
Sustainability of the program will be assured through:
- A supportive government policy environment
- Strengthened local government structures
- Active involvement of target communities
- Use of appropriate technologies
- Evaluation of the causes of dysfunctional water schemes and sustainable rehabilitation
- Ongoing and follow-up support to WASH Committees, including refresher trainings from Woreda offices
- Formation of artisan cooperation at woreda or sub-woreda level to create spare part supply chains and other necessary support services
- Agreements with woreda offices to stock supply parts with reasonable prices when other suppliers are unwilling to stock such parts
- Yield of water sources will be determined to be sufficient and sustainable prior to implementation
- Environmentally sustainable WASH interventions
- Additional activities will be undertaken to contribute to sustainability as identified by
ongoing program reviews, site visits, peer review processes and related developments in the WASH sector overall
Approximately 83% of Ethiopia’s 80 million citizens live in rural areas where water and sanitation coverage is very low – the WHO Joint Monitoring Program estimates that 26% of rural Ethiopians have access to safe water and only 8% have access to improved sanitation. These deficiencies not only affect public health but also undermine productivity, economic growth, and gender equity.
Therefore, this program's investments in water and sanitation are characterized as both a public health improvement and poverty reduction strategy. While many water supply projects in developing countries are largely premised on health improvements, this type of investment in Multiple Use Water Services (MUS) also offers economic and livelihood benefits that can increase incomes and in so doing support more sustainable water systems.
The program will build on MWA's Ethiopia Program that has been delivering WASH programming since 2004.
The program will be implemented through June 2014, concluding on the same schedule as an existing program supporting WASH development in the same regions. It will apply an integrated systems approach to WASH: all communities where water access is improved will benefit from activities designed to increase sanitation coverage and improve hygiene behavior, in particular hand-washing. Sanitation and hygiene promotion activities will begin at the outset and will continue throughout the program with the understanding that achieving behavior change is a long-term process that often requires repeated trainings and promotion activities.
The program will work with three approaches: 1) Water access for Multiple Use Water Services (MUS), 2) WASH in schools and health facilities, and 3) water-related entrepreneurship.
‘Multiple-use water services’ (MUS) refers to a participatory and poverty-reduction focused approach which takes people’s multiple water needs as the starting point for providing integrated water services, moving beyond the conventional ‘domestic’ and ‘productive’ sector barriers. Sustainability will be enhanced by taking into account existing demands for multiple uses and aligning demand with multiple sources, thereby reducing the risk of ‘misuse’ of domestic water supplies for productive uses. With this program, MWA-EP partners will construct or rehabilitate more than 50 community water schemes that will serve the multiple use needs of communities. Cattle troughs, hand-washing basins, and shower houses will be constructed to expand the multiple uses of water at planned schemes. In addition to promoting kitchen gardening and tree planting, MWA partners will further build the capacity of community members, particularly women, to undertake larger scale income generation activities such as drip irrigation techniques and treadle pumps to support larger plots and more diverse crops by coordinating this program with other agriculture, microfinance and economic livelihoods development programs in the intervention areas.
To ensure the long-term sustainability of water schemes and to promote local governance, water management committees (WMCs) will be formed during the planning phase of the program. WMC members will participate in the assessments and analyses and will be trained on the financial, operational and maintenance aspects of their systems using the concepts and methodologies associated with the life cycle cost approach (LCCA). Links between WMCs and local governments will promote dialogue and long-term management support. WMCs will be democratically elected by their communities and will include the multiple sets (farmers, livestock owners, and domestic users). MWA partners work with Woreda offices to ensure that all WMCs receive 3-5 days of ‘refresher’ training annually. To quantify the incremental impact of adding MUS approaches to traditional water supply interventions, the MWA-EP will document and identify the additional benefits – economic and otherwise – that may accrue to communities and/or households from MUS activities to build the evidence base to support scale-up of MUS programs.
In collaboration with Woreda government officials, MWA partners will identify and prioritize schools and health clinics in need of improved access to water and/or sanitation and hygiene. GETF and TCCAF staff will also participate in the selection process, which will be led by Woreda staff during the first two months of the program. In total, WASH services in 15 schools and 7 health centers will be improved over the program period. Teachers, parents, students, health extension workers and other government health staff will receive training to improve hygiene behaviors, particularly hand-washing. School WASH clubs will be established in 15 schools. To reinforce the sanitation promotion activities done at the household level through CLTS, VIP latrines blocks will be constructed in public venues such as markets and community gathering places. At least one of these will be a ‘pay-per-use’ sani-center in the World Vision intervention areas with latrine stalls and public showers that will be constructed on the site of a community youth/child resource center. The sani-center will be open for use to the public and members of the youth group will be responsible for fee collection and facility maintenance.
The program plans to support water-related entrepreneurship with a specific emphasis on improving opportunities and empowering women in communities where water schemes are developed. This will be achieved primarily through the formation of village level women’s savings and internal lending committees (SILCs) by CRS and women’s interest groups by World Vision. In most cases, savings and internal lending committees at the village level have 15-20 active members – in larger communities, there may be more members or multiple committees. Participants will receive additional training on leadership, financial management, reporting. Through matching funds, the groups may also receive ‘seed capital’, supplies (e.g., seeds, molds for concrete latrine components) and technical assistance to initiate activities. It is estimated that approximately 10 women’s committees will be formed and mobilized during the program. At least one of these will be a sanitation marketing group in the CRS intervention area (based on similar groups CRS has formed) that will serve as a source for latrine components for multiple kebeles that have been triggered with CLTS.
All MWA programs employ and integrated approach to WASH: all intervention communities will benefit from improved access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education. Funding from TCCAF will allow implementation partners to leverage funding already committed to better meet the full range of community water needs in selected areas of rural Ethiopia and to build local capacity to improve direct implementation strategies in the future through partnerships with local governments and local NGOs.
A key focus of this program is to achieve sustainable access to WASH - particularly sustainable water access. There is increasing interest in water point and sanitation sustainability in the sector. This interest is partly in response to the approximately 36% of hand-pumps in sub-Saharan African countries that have been found to be non-functional over time, as well as the noted failure to achieve full use of sanitation facilities.
School WASH programs also face several sustainability difficulties. This failure to implement sustained interventions reflects many challenges in community governance, technology, and other issues, about which the sector continues to learn. What has amounted to millions of dollars in wasted investments has led to a call to a stronger commitment to sustainability across the sector.
MWA, CRS, WaterAid and World Vision have each signed the WASH sector Sustainability Charter (http://washcharter.org), pledging to take seriously their commitment to provide sustainable WASH services to target communities, forever.
Specific activities that will support the sustainability of this program include:
• A supportive government policy environment and strong engagement and coordination with local and national government structures;
• Active involvement of target communities;
• Use of appropriate technologies;
• Evaluation of the causes of dysfunctional water schemes and sustainable rehabilitation;
• Ongoing and follow-up support to WASH Committees, including refresher trainings from
• Formation of artisan cooperation at woreda or sub-woreda level to create spare part
supply chains and other necessary support services;
• Agreements with woreda offices to stock supply parts with reasonable prices when
other suppliers are unwilling to stock such parts;
• Yield of water sources will be determined to be sufficient and sustainable; and
• Environmentally sustainable WASH interventions, integrating IWRM and climate change adaptation strategies.
Retrospective studies of functionality by MWA-EP partners have shown high levels of long-term sustainability. In 2010, CRS collaborated with the local government and found that 90% of the water points implemented within the previous five years were fully functional. In 2012, WorldVision collaborated with Bahir Dar and Cornell University to assess the functionality of its water schemes over the past eight years finding that 80% were fully functional, 4% were partially functional, 8% were non-functional and 8% were under construction.
While these functionality figures are high, the goal of the MWA-EP is to reach 95% functionality. In 2013, the MWA-EP will undertake an applied research program designed to identify threats to water point sustainability will the help of CGSW to improve long-term sustainability outcomes.