Sustainability of water services in Ethiopia

Mason, Nathaniel; MacDonald, Alan ORCID:; Mtisi, Sobona; Haylamicheal, Israel Deneke; Abebe, Habtamu. 2013 Sustainability of water services in Ethiopia. In: Calow, Roger; Ludi, Eva; Tucker, Josephine, (eds.) Achieving water security : lessons from research in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in Ethiopia. Rugby, UK, Practical Action Publishing, 107-126.

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Ethiopia has made significant progress in extending access to improved water sources under its Universal Access Plan (UAP). Although data are contested, all sources confirm the strong upward trajectory. However, the ability of the country to sustain progress is difficult to predict. One key challenge is ensuring that investment translates into sustainable services that continue to meet users’ needs in terms of water quantity, quality, ease of access, and reliability. Although data are limited, available evidence suggests that many schemes provide unreliable services or fail completely. Service sustainability is not a new issue in Ethiopia, or elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The available evidence suggests that perhaps 40 per cent of hand pumps are non-functional in SSA; in Ethiopia, official data suggest that 20–30 per cent of schemes have failed, or experience frequent outages. But a long-standing emphasis on capital investment and new infrastructure, coupled with weak monitoring and evaluation (M&E), has tended to obscure the problem, and few rigorous studies have been carried out on this topic. In this chapter, we review the evidence from Research-inspired Policy and Practice Learning in Ethiopia and the Nile Region (RiPPLE) research in two Ethiopian woredas (districts) – Halaba Special woredas and Mirab Abaya – looking at water coverage, the number of non-functioning water schemes, and the factors that determine service sustainability, focusing particularly on rural water supply. Drawing on Ethiopian and wider regional research, we then highlight lessons and recommendations for addressing the problem at different decision-making levels.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
ISBN: 9781853397646
Additional Keywords: International development;
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 26 Nov 2013 14:31 +0 (UTC)

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