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Two districts (woredas) validate and launch WASH SDG master plans

Published on: 12/01/2021

Two Ethiopian districts, Shashamane and Negelle Arsi, are developing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) master plans.

Participants of the workshop listening to Lemessa Mekonta, IRC Ethiopia country director

Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas' WASH SDG master plans are being developed with the support of IRC WASH under the WASH SDG Program. As the planning process nears completion, a validation and launching workshop was held in Hawassa Town from December 22 to 25, 2020. Various zonal and woreda WASH actors participated in the workshop.

The workshop discussed the planning process, the plans, the previous planning experience of the woredas, the reliability of the baseline information, how the plan can be endorsed by the Woreda Councils, and the way forward. Participants of the workshop were content with the discussion and ready to work together to successfully implement the WASH SDG master plans.

The master plans are an opportunity to acquire lots of lessons according to Ali Haji, the Shashamane Woreda Water Office Head. The support provided by IRC WASH and its coordinating efforts to get different WASH sectors on the same page was remarkable, and he said that ‘’this is a good example for other NGOs’’. According to their previous experience, the woreda did not have this kind of platform to collaborate with different stakeholders. He also added that to efficiently implement this master plan, the Woreda Administration will coordinate woreda WASH sector offices and non-governmental organisations to achieve WASH Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The master plan is a great input for the woreda’s Health Office and other stakeholders, according to Kedir Tahir, Head of the Negelle Arsi Woreda Health Office. He stated that the plan is a nice reference for WASH activities of the woreda. From the master plan, Kedir has learned a lot about the WASH status of his woreda and believes it will allow them to perform better in the future.

The master plan has charted out the budget needed for each activity. Teshome Herpasa, Negelle Arsi Woreda’s Finance Office Head, said that it is a great opportunity to build the capacity of their woreda on WASH. To get the budget needed to implement the plan they will collaborate with different governmental and non-governmental organisations and the public.

Samuel Girma, Amref Health Africa’s WASH Project Manager, said as an organisation working on hygiene and sanitation in both rural and urban areas, they will contribute their role, based on the developed SDG master plan. Additionally, as a WASH Alliance member, they will use the master plan to influence donors and get additional funds. He also stated that the master plan is comprehensive and will serve as guidance for future WASH activities.

Overall, the workshop underscored that the master plans should be presented and discussed at the woreda level, there should be an accountability mechanism in implementing the plan, and the woreda administrations should take the lead in implementing the master plan.  It is suggested that annual plans and five year plans should be derived from the master plan.

The next steps of the SDG master plans’ development will be incorporating inputs from participants and endorsement by the Woreda Council. To effectively implement the SDG master plan, it was emphasised that all key actors are responsible to deliver on their roles and responsibilities.