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Costs of water and sanitation services in small towns in Ethiopia

Published on: 02/12/2016

Assessing Value for Money of WASH services in small towns. Read the main findings on the analysis of costs for providing water and sanitation services in small town in Ethiopia. 

ethiopia child at water point

In Ethiopia, there are very few published cost studies for large and small town water supply programmes against which to compare costs and derive benchmarks. There are even fewer sources of cost studies for sanitation. With these few exceptions the information is not available online.

The main findings from a recent study on the analysis of costs for providing water and sanitation services in small town in Ethiopia are:

  • If we consider only the Capital Expenditure of the small town programmes, there is some convergence around an average cost of US$ 100 per person. This excludes critical costs to ensure sustainability such as capital maintenance and direct support expenditure.
  • The ONEWASH Plus programme is the only programme, so far, for which information is available on direct and indirect costs which are essential for post-construction and sustainability of the services provided. These costs total about US$ 26 per person.
  • It’s impossible to understand if the costs of investment are delivering services that match the national norms on access to water and sanitation. None of the cost documents provide an assessment or evaluation of the level of service provided.
  • The costs from the different studies cannot be considered benchmarks as they are indicative only and not directly comparable

These are some of the conclusions presented in the Value for Money learning note that IRC Ethiopia was asked to develop focusing on the urban component of the ONEWASH Plus Programme which is implemented by UNICEF with the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and funding from DFID. The programme aims to provide support to capacity building and management for better services in eight small towns and the surrounding villages.

The Value for Money analysis focused on capturing all the costs from all sources of finance for constructing systems and maintaining services in eight small towns and surrounding villages; comparing results with other similar programmes and their costs and an in-depth analysis of procurement processes and other factors that might influence efficiency and sustainability.

The full learning note with all the data and references can be found below under Resources.

For a description on costs and tools see IRC's Quick Guide to Costs listed below under Useful Links.

 

 

Useful links

Resources