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The Federal Government of Ethiopia is committed to fulfilling Target 10 of the MDG 7 -reducing by 50 per cent the proportion of the population without access to water and sanitation by the year 2015- thereby improving the overall health and socio-economic condition and quality of life of the population, especially children and women. Consequently, Ethiopia has adopted ambitious water, sanitation and hygiene targets through its “Universal Access Plan”, which seeks to reach 98.5 per cent and 100 per cent access to safe water and sanitation respectively by 2015.

The national hand washing strategy objectives includes:

  • Increased proportion of household utilization of improved sanitation facilities from an estimated 31per cent to 84per cent,
  • Increased proportion of schools with < 100 children per latrine stand with hand washing facilities,
  • Increased proportion of households practicing hand washing with soap (or a substitute) at critical times from an estimated 7per cent to 77per cent,
  • Increased proportion of Open Defecation Free (ODF) Kebeles from an estimated 15per cent to 80per cent and
  • Increase the proportion of households practicing home water treatment and safe storage from an estimated 8per cent to 77per cent.

To enhance multi-sectoral coordination, the Ministries of Education, Health and Water resources signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2006 to enhance multi-sectoral coordination. The purpose of this MOU is to get the main partners of WASH sector involved in joint planning, implementation and monitoring of water supply, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) in communities, schools and health institutions.

In early September One WASH National Program (OWNP) was launched. It is based on a sector wide approach (SWAp) and includes ministries of: water, health, education and finance and the principal development partners with implementation period of seven years covering the period from July 2013 to June 2015 for Phase I and from July 2015 to June 2020 for Phase II.OWNP has four components of:

Rural and Pastoral WASH

Urban WASH

Institutional WASH

Programme Management and Capacity Building

Essentially, the programme is moving away from small-scale project funding towards a broader programme approach. With this, not only government efforts are being harmonised but all actors involved agree on ONE common system.

While coordination among all the sectors involved is important cooperation is also critical to the success of school WASH programmes. The implementation of the WASH project will definitely contribute to improving the water supply and sanitation facilities in schools and Health Facilities.

UNICEF’s Contribution to the program include

  •  UNICEF helped mobilise funds from the EU, Government of Japan, and UNICEF National Committees for WASH in Schools
  • One important entry point for strengthening UNICEF’s contribution to School WASH is improved monitoring, reporting, and data management systems. UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) to carry out a national WASH inventory (NWI), in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Education. The inventory will provide new data on water supply schemes in urban and rural areas, sanitation and hygiene practices of households, and the status of water supply and sanitation facilities at health institutions and schools. The woreda (district) WASH Inventory will enable the capture of information on WASH in schools, which also should strengthen Education Management Information System (EMIS), and the Education Cluster System. Improved School WASH information, including indicators on adequacy of facilities, their use and upkeep, and hygiene practices, will enable local planners and implementers to better target their WASH investments.
  •  UNICEF plans to construct 376 schools provided with  a complete WASH package in 64 learning woredas
  • The Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), with the support of UNICEF, developed a set of national design principles and standards for school WASH in 2010. The Design and Construction Manual for Water Supply and Sanitary Facilities in Primary Schools provided the first detailed set of guidelines for school WASH in Ethiopia. A second edition is currently under development, which will add more detail on water supply designs, as well as lower-cost approaches suitable for many rural schools.
  • UNICEF helped Ministry of Education on Climate resilience. UNICEF has supported the Identification of technologies from national and international sources, evaluated them, prioritized and prepared a portfolio of appropriate technologies and good practices needed for the implementation of concrete projects validated for the construction of a climate resilient economy (Solar Energy).
  • UNICEF provided support on water conservation and re-use, menstrual Hygiene Management, and continues encouraging the participation of students in sanitary surveillance, surveillance of community water supplies and monitor aspects of water conservation and reuse. 



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