Problem Addressed

This program addresses a number of problems facing rural Ethiopian communities. First, in many places, water schemes that are implemented fall into disuse because the water source has dried up, leaving communities without access to clean and adequate water. This is often due to poor watershed management, degradation and climatic impacts (increasing temperatures and rainfall shortage). Second, girls in school often face sanitary problems in schools and are not able to attend. Third, communities do not have access to water for agricultural production, leaving them impoverished.

Innovative Approach

EWNRA is innovative in that it integrates a WASH program with water resource management (WRM) and implements multi-use schemes. This enables the water supply to be much longer-lasting and enables communities to use water for both household and agricultural use.

Program Solution

Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA) has helped to increase access to drinking water by installing safe drinking water schemes, which has improved community health and reduced expenses for water borne diseases. They have also helped to sensitize the community on sanitation and hygiene and created separate facilities for boys and girls in schools to ensure girls are attending school during menstruation. The program has also established school WASH clubs and provides pads to low-income girls.

Rural villages are also sensitized to make their surroundings free from open defecation through constructing their own facilities with local material, and through triggering village level sanitation and cleanliness competitions. They promote micro-watershed rehabilitation and management activities to enhance and maintain water resources within the micro watershed, prevent runoff and increase the water supply. This involves treating the watershed with different activities, including planting trees and Vetiver grass on conservation structures to sustain the structures and maximize the benefit for the communities.

EWNRA has also improved community health by providing seeds of vegetable and fruit varieties that improve nutrition and income from the sale of vegetables and fruits. This has included establishing a revolving fund for farmers (primarily for women and the poor).

Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA)

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Partners: The project is implemented in partnership with district/woreda level government offices, including: Water, Mineral and Energy, Health, Education, Agriculture and Women’s, Children and Youth Affairs; and with strong involvement of local communities and the donor Water Aid Ethiopia/UK.

Location:  Oromia Region,