Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia

This programme has initiated many new and innovative approaches in order to provide universal access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene in Western Ethiopia.

This large and long-term water supply, sanitation and hygiene project in Benishangul Gumuz, Western Ethiopia, has been implemented over a period of seven years. The development objective was to provide "universal access to improved water, sanitation and Hygiene in Benishangul-Gumuz” and the program focused on an approach that would enable communities to be responsible for the planning, implementation, maintenance and management of communal or institutional water schemes. The programme initiated many new and innovative approaches. These included community managed financing mechanisms, like local micro-finance institutions and the use of a development fund, that over time also provided communities access to formal banking services. The project also piloted a community managed approach in large schemes focusing on e.g. gravity irrigation projects and a rehabilitation of old piped system. The private sector was promoted to engage in the maintenance of WASH infrastructure. Major results included enhanced community capacity to construct and maintain water supply and to adopt appropriate technologies and behaviours related to sanitation and hygiene.