Published on: 06/07/2015
The WASH Ethiopia movement has organized a half day meeting workshop on "WASH & Food Security" at Elily International Hotel, Addis Ababa on 25 June 2015, involving different Non-Governmental Organizations. Four papers were presented focusing on the link between WASH and Food Security in addition to a film on livelihood improvement through WASH, particularly ECOSAN.
IRC's experience and lessons in implementation of self-supply were presented and the links with food security. Self-supply is 'the improvement to water supplies developed largely or wholy through user investments by households' or small groups'. The model is promoted in Ethiopia as one way of bridging the gap left by other service delivery models, by reaching remote and scatter populations in rural areas where conventional water supply systems are costly to replicate. It also unlocks a new source of finance, household investment to enable the sector achieve universal access to water supply. However, the advantages of self-supply actually go beyond improving access and service level of the households. Constructing or upgrading water supplies at household level is increasingly being recognized as a viable approach with potential for getting the bulk water needed by households for multiple purposes: including domestic use, irrigation and livestock.
Self-supply for example can enable rural households in Ethiopia to engage in irrigation, enabling them to double production and income, and this in turn promotes food security. According to a research study undertaken in SNNPR region in 2011 (Sutton et al 2012: a hidden resource) among 76 surveyed households experienced food insecurity (82%) before the construction of family wells for water supply. This number amazingly reduced to 1% with well ownership at household level. Significant increment has also been recorded in regard to food production and saving expenditure with own produce. In a similar study, in Oromia region a survey carried out among 71 households showed that food insufficience has decreased to 0% from 39% after the family well construction.
Implementing self-supply at scale and capitalizing on its ability to link WASH with food security requires stronger coordination among various key stakeholders, especially between the Agriculture and Water sectors.
The powerpoint of the presentation for download below.