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Inspiring water entrepreneurship in Tigray-iWET : an approach and a tool for system change

The Government of Ethiopia, supported by development partners, has been successful in terms of creating access to safe water for its people. However, the sustainability of the services from the constructed water schemes has been compromised. For decades, communities have relied on government and non-governmental organisations for their maintenance and spare parts requirements, which has been delivered free or subsidised heavily. Because of the dependency syndrome built on the community over the years, many communities are now not willing to pay for maintenance and operation of their water schemes. As the number of rural water schemes increase in number and complexity, the human and material capacity to sustain the WASH services remain the same, and non-functionality and scheme downtime has started to raise significantly.

As a result, non-governmental organisations start to look after the water points they constructed to comply with their donors’ requirements. This discourages private sector engagement and leaves the sustainability of rural water services at risk. Key issues and major actors in WASH had to be identified, roles and area of improvements reviewed and strengthened. The Inspiring Water Entrepreneurship in Tigray (iWET) project is up and running with encouraging results because it is facilitating an enabling environment for a system change approach instead of responding to emerging incidents and complaints one after the other. As a result, functionality in some districts has risen from 80% to 95%, scheme downtime has been reduced from 30 days to three days and other partners have decided to rollout the model in other districts in the region and beyond.

TitleInspiring water entrepreneurship in Tigray-iWET : an approach and a tool for system change
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsA. Gebreegziabher, Y, Vreugdenhil, J
Secondary TitleAll systems go! WASH Systems Symposium, The Hague, the Netherlands, 12-14 March 2019
Pagination9 p.: 5 photos
Date Published03/2019
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
KeywordsEntrepreneurship, non-functionality, system change, WASH services
Abstract

The Government of Ethiopia, supported by development partners, has been successful in terms of creating access to safe water for its people. However, the sustainability of the services from the constructed water schemes has been compromised. For decades, communities have relied on government and non-governmental organisations for their maintenance and spare parts requirements, which has been delivered free or subsidised heavily. Because of the dependency syndrome built on the community over the years, many communities are now not willing to pay for maintenance and operation of their water schemes. As the number of rural water schemes increase in number and complexity, the human and material capacity to sustain the WASH services remain the same, and non-functionality and scheme downtime has started to raise significantly.

As a result, non-governmental organisations start to look after the water points they constructed to comply with their donors’ requirements. This discourages private sector engagement and leaves the sustainability of rural water services at risk. Key issues and major actors in WASH had to be identified, roles and area of improvements reviewed and strengthened. The Inspiring Water Entrepreneurship in Tigray (iWET) project is up and running with encouraging results because it is facilitating an enabling environment for a system change approach instead of responding to emerging incidents and complaints one after the other. As a result, functionality in some districts has risen from 80% to 95%, scheme downtime has been reduced from 30 days to three days and other partners have decided to rollout the model in other districts in the region and beyond.

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.