Published on: 30/05/2023
Thanks to regular maintenance, WASH service delivery in South Omo Zone is improving significantly. Moreover, it has opened up opportunities for private enterprises to carry out the maintenance. (photo: Tsegaye Yeshiwas)
The South Omo Zone Water, Mine and Energy Department, in collaboration with IRC WASH, Action For Development (AFD) and private mining investors held its annual WASH sector review meeting from May 23-24, 2023. The meeting discussed improving the monitoring system to address the data gap to improve WASH service delivery.
During the meeting, Kebraraw Tekele, the head of the Zone Water, Mine and Energy Department, emphasized the role of a good information management system for the sustainability of WASH service delivery. To achieve this, the department plans to cascade South Ari Woreda’s (one of IRC’s focus woredas) experience on using a cloud-based monitoring system to collect and report WASH data.
Ajele Getu, the Head of the South Ari Woreda/District Water Office, presented the woreda's mWater cloud-based monitoring system and provided an update on its status, which showed substantial progress since its implementation. Previously, South Omo Zone missed millions in regional budget allocation due to lack of evidence-based data. "With well organised data, we can reduce poverty", Mr Getu said. The Zone has been facing too many natural disasters and disease outbreaks. "Now we have up-to-date data and we monitor this and can present this data for proper budget allocation".
During the meeting, Dasenech and Semen Ari Woredas were commended for successfully scaling up Debubi Ari Woreda’s monitoring system. Participants also suggested that other woredas of the zone should learn from these woredas and strengthen their monitoring system. The mWater monitoring system has already been implemented in seven woredas, with plans to scale up to all woredas in the zone.
Mr Tekele said that a lack of organized water scheme data has been a bottleneck for emergency response in the Zone. Having a good monitoring system in place with up-to-date information on the status of the water scheme means that any problems causing non-functionality can easily be obtained. This would enable the rehabilitation of 50% of the water schemes more efficiently. IRC Ethiopia has been supporting Debubi Ari Woreda to use mWater to strengthen its monitoring system. Now, the experience of South Ari Woreda is being disseminated to other woredas of the Zone.
98 participants from all 11 woredas of the Zone, partners, and Jinka City Administration attended the review meeting.