Ethiopia launches ONE WASH National Programme (OWNP)
13 September 2013: Ethiopia today launched the world’s largest Sector Wide Approach (SWAP) to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) at a ceremony in Addis Ababa.
At a launch ceremony held at the Hilton Addis, the plan which is termed ONEWASH programme; brings together four ministries- Water Resources, Health, Education, and Finance & Economic Development- in a bid to modernise the way water and sanitation services are delivered to the people of Ethiopia; improving the health situation, decreasing the drop-out rates of children in schools, and making financing for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) more effective.
OWNP contributes to achieving the government’s social and economic priorities in an equitable and sustainable manner by increasing water supply and sanitation coverage and the adoption of good hygiene practices. It consolidates planning, budgeting and reporting activities of WASH in a broad sector wide approach. It is unique in approach because it is comprehensive, inclusive, cost effective, and progress oriented. OWNP will have significant contribution in meeting both the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets. Achieving GTP targets for water supply and sanitation access will require a total investment of USD 2.41 billion of which around USD 1.632 billion is available as per present estimate while resulting in a funding gap of USD 0.778 billion, or about 32% of the total funding requirement.
Speaking at the ceremony, H.E Mr. Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water Resources noted the importance of the programme in harmonizing WASH efforts around the country. “The [Ethiopian] year 2005 was a success in providing water supply to 10million of our population,” he said. “To meet our GTP targets, we need to construct more than 98,000 schemes and rehabilitate over 20,000. With ONE WASH, our management of water and sanitation will be better. The consolidated WASH account at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will start operation as of September.”
Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, noted on his part: “We believe that, to achieve universal access, however, the following 3 points are crucial. First, the WASH sector needs to intensify its attention to the Urban poor in Ethiopia. Second, the WASH sector needs to prioritize the issue of water and sanitation in schools and health centers. And third, the sector needs to retain a strong focus on equity-prioritizing poorest & most marginalized communities.”