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Planning for sustainable WASH services in Negelle Arsi and Shashamane woredas

Published on: 18/11/2020

In order to achieve improved and sustainable WASH services, IRC WASH Ethiopia has been working on Wash Alliance International (WAI) project implementation in supporting Shashamane and Negele Arsi woredas (districts).  The project is anticipated to enhance effective planning and monitoring, financing to the WASH sector, and develop climate resilient WASH infrastructure, where the challenge of water resources for different demands will also be addressed.

The planning process to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 in the two woredas was started a year ago by training Woreda WASH Experts from WASH sector offices such as the water, health, education, and finance offices. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a state of emergency restricting travels and gatherings, the planning process was deferred for months. Once the state of emergency was lifted, the planning process continued. Recently, there was a five-day workshop held at Hawassa to finalise the SDG planning process.

The workshop involved the WASH sector planning teams from the two woredas. Foziya Jemal is a WASH focal point at the Negelle Arsi Woreda Health Office. She said that the first training they attended a year ago enabled them to start planning for SDG 6, and after two months the planning teams from the two woredas met at Batu/Zeway town to present their progress. During their meeting at Batu/Zeway, challenges and faults they experienced during the process were discussed. A person from Dera Woreda of Amhara Region shared their experience on the process.  After they returned to their woreda, they kept working on the planning.

Incorporating experts from the finance office allowed the planning teams to understand the available resources of their respective woredas. Jemal Umar is an expert at Shashamane Woreda’s Finance and Economy Cooperation Office. He stated that Shashamane Woreda has very limited resources, therefore, to use the limited resources properly, having a long-term strategic plan is very important. ‘’As water is linked with existence, and the community in water stressed lowland kebeles of our woreda are suffering with shortage of water, we are seriously working on the SDG planning and trying to use this wonderful opportunity,’’ Jemal said.

IRC WASH Ethiopia supporting Negelle Arsi Woreda in SDG planning

IRC WASH Ethiopia has been actively supporting both Woredas in the planning process

Improving access and sustainability of WASH services in the community and institutions in the two woredas is the purpose of the planning. During the planning process, households, schools and health facilities water, sanitation and hygiene gaps were analysed. According to Tirunesh Zerihun,  the Negele Arsi Woreda Education Office Planning Expert, the SDG planning process capacitated them in identifying their water, sanitation, and hygiene  facilities gaps in schools. Currently, they have clear data which portrays the overall WASH status of schools in their woreda and are happy to share the data with anyone coming to their support.

The SDG planning process is in its completion stage. The two woredas identified gaps and planned for new WASH infrastructures, counted their broken WASH infrastructure, and planned for rehabilitation, estimated costs, and identified potential sources of finance, and settled their target for 2030. The strategic plan will be validated with the participation of woreda WASH stakeholders and launched to serve as a road map for WASH intervention in the woredas.