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Published on: 30/05/2024

VITA, an NGO operating in Amhara region, has undertaken a project to support Amhara region Water and Energy Bureau on maintenance tasks. For this, VITA requested the bureau to provide them with scheme status data. The bureau’s scheme management directorate subsequently reached out the zone water and energy departments, to provide the data for their specific districts. In turn, the zone water and energy departments communicated with their respective district water and energy offices, seeking the necessary data. Among these offices, the North Mecha district in North Gojjam zone promptly provided the requested data.

As part of a follow up, Ato Mamo, the head of scheme management directorate asked if the data of the North Gojjam was ready. In response, Ato Addisu, the head of the North Gojjam Water and Energy Department, forwarded the only available data-specifically from North Mecha-out of the eight districts within the zone. North Mecha is one of the three Sustainable WASH Programme (SWP) implementation districts in the region.

Interestingly, Ato Addisu attributed the swift data provision to their utilisation of a Management Information System (MIS) within the North Mecha Water and Energy Office. This insight was shared during a panel discussion on IRC-led Hilton projects learning dissemination workshop, held in Adama on May 14 and 15, 2024.

Based on the data provided by the districts, VITA decided to support Dera and Farta districts of South Gonder zone, both are SWP implementation districts which employed similar MIS and maintain up-to date data. The South Gonder Water and Energy Department implemented Excel database for the remaining districts in the zone until they scale up the MIS that Dera and Farta are using.

Panelists discussing the achievements of WASH MIS support to the three SWP districts

Data availability decided in selection of communities for new construction

Muludil Asres and Kindye Kassaw are data supply experts and monitoring focal persons of North Mecha and Farta districts Water and Energy Offices, respectively. They said Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CARE and AVECLI used water point distribution maps of their districts for selecting unserved community for new construction and related attribute data for selection of schemes for rehabilitation.

Importance of MIS in making strategic decisions

According to Muldil, based on trend analysis of the data in the MIS, the non functionality rate of small schemes, such as hand dug wells, is directly linked to the decline in groundwater levels. Consequently, theymade a strategic shift towards constructing climate resilient rural pipe schemes sourced from deep borehole. These resilient pipe schemes are designed to withstand climate change challenges and provide sustainable water access for the communities they serve. By prioritising climate resilience, the district aims to enhance water availability and reliability, safeguardingagainst future fluctuations in groundwaterlevels. This proactive approach reflects their commitment to addressing water scarcity and promoting long-term sustainability.

Utilisation of the MIS in the three SWP districts

In Dera, the planning team uses the MIS for regular reporting while the scheme management team uses it for updating scheme status and planning maintenance. In Farta, the MIS is being used for functionality assessment and to determine coverage. The Amhara region Water and Energy Bureau data shows that the drinking water supply coverage of Farta woreda is 98%, based on the National WASH Inventory 2 data. But Farta was able to justify to the bureau using geo-located water point distribution and showed that the water supply coverage is 45.98% and the non-functionality coverage is 23.37%. This highlights the importance of the MIS when evaluating water supply services.

Sustainable WASH Program

Sustainable WASH Programme is a five year programme being implemented in three districts of Amhara region namely Dera, Farta and North Mecha since 2019. The programme is led by the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA). IRC WASH has been supporting the districts in establishing a comprehensive Management Information System (MIS) to enhance water services, reduce non-functionality, and promote data-driven decision-making within government offices.



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