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Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in Ethiopia

Published on: 01/05/2013

The WSSCC is a UN-linked organization with a unique institutional character. We interviewed Michael Negash, the WSSCC representative in Ethiopia to find out more about how the WSSCC works. Michael is also the coordinator of the WASH Ethiopia Movement.

WSSCC at a glance

The WSSCC work so that ‘everybody has sustained water supply, sanitation and hygiene’. The organisation has a strong focus on sanitation and hygiene and social equity is a guiding principal. The Council manage the Global Sanitation Fund, a pooled global fund to which the Dutch Government contribute, established to direct finance to help large numbers of poor people attain safe sanitation services and adopt good hygiene practices. Through this fund, WSSCC are helping support the Government of Ethiopia to implement sanitation activities within the Health Extension Program. 

Key activities: The Global Sanitation Fund has provided a USD5 million, 5-year grant focusing on sanitation at the household level, solid waste management and environmental protection through the Health Extension Program.

Where WSSCC work: Included are 40 of the most marginalized woredas in four regions: Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and SNNPR. These are places lacking active NGOs and receiving minimal funds from government to implement federal strategies.

Find out more: Visit www.wsscc.org/countries/africa/ethiopia/global-sanitation-fund

Contact: Michael Negash is the WSSCC in-country representative; find him on +251911383192 or email michaelnegash@wateraid.org. The program officer based at headquarters in Geneva is Hakim Hadjel (hakim.hadjel@wsscc.org ).

Interview with Michael Negash

Commonly money from the Global Sanitation Fund is disseminated to NGOs for implementation. However, in Ethiopia the Ministry of Health is the grantee and it is the National Hygiene and Sanitation Task Force in charge of implementation. Interestingly, until this Fund stepped in, there was no separate budget line for sanitation and hygiene. It all fell within the Health Extension Program but was not specified. Now for software matters only, i.e. capacity building of health extension workers, a new budget line has been created. It is hoped that the Ministry of Finance and Development will also contribute a percentage of GDP to the sanitation and hygiene budget line in the next fiscal year.

The Global Sanitation Fund promotes a subsidy free approach, and the activities supported in Ethiopia included a learning exchange on sanitation marketing with Cambodia, where the approach originates. This looked into market-based approaches to selling sanitation products.

Michael also reflects that it was ten years ago, back in 2004, that through a small fund from the WSSCC the WASH Ethiopia Movement (WEM) was established. The movement is a now a vital Ethiopian voice in the global coalition campaigning for WASH issues. WEM helps the Ministry of Health in coordination of national health sector campaigns, such as last year’s campaign for handwashing at seven critical times. To increase media coverage on WASH-related issues, journalists and media professionals have been trained (with Dutch funding through the Ethiopian WASH Alliance).

WEM organizes monthly sector learning sessions and Michael says you are welcome to attend. These are held every third Thursday of the month at 10:30am at the WaterAid office. If you are embarking on new research, it is good to check-in with WEM as it is likely that complementary research has already been done! You can also register for the WASH Ethiopia Movement updates at www.washethiopiamovement.com/