The lowland areas of Ethiopia, with arid and semi-arid agro-ecology, are under increasing pressure due to several stress factors including climate variability and change, population pressure, natural resources degradation, inadequate policy support and a reduction in local peoples’ coping capacity. A lack of social services including water supply and sanitation facilities, and limited opportunities for livelihoods diversification, are exacerbating the negative impacts on the population.
LAWD is aligned to the USAID/Ethiopia’s Country Development and Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), Development Objective One (DO1) - Increased economic growth with resilience in rural Ethiopia and the Feed the Future Initiative (FtF) goal of ‘Reducing Hunger and Malnutrition in Ethiopia’ and the FtF objective - Increased resilience of vulnerable communities and households.
USAID’s Water and Development Strategy (2013-18) aims to save lives and advance development through improvements in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs, and through sound management and use of water for food security. To attain these results, the Strategy outlines two strategic objectives: improve health outcomes through the provision of sustainable WASH services and manage water for agriculture cost effectively and sustainably to enhance food security. LAWD will contribute to both strategic objectives.
The project will work to increase access to improved drinking water sources in the target regions with a particular emphasis on sustainable results in areas experiencing chronic water shortages. This includes the construction of 35 new water facilities with distribution system and rehabilitation of 96 dysfunctional water supplies to increase number of people using an improved drinking water source by at least 5% in the target regions over the life of the project; equipment of 500 water points with sensors to measure real-time operational data which can be monitored by those responsible for Operations and Management; and establishment of a regional system for providing data to One Wash monitoring platform.
The project will support local government in expanding the reach and effectiveness of community-based approaches in line with Ethiopia national strategies such as Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and/or Community Action for Total Sanitation (CATS) promoting sustained adoption of these hygiene practices and support communities to achieve a “No open defecation community status” where 100% of households, schools, health facilities and communal places practice safe excreta disposal in line with the GOE’s National Hygiene and Sanitation Strategy.
Lowland WASH will provide training, capacity building and facilitation to 400 people to help local government and communities mutually develop and implement natural resources management plans around critical water facilities catchment areas used for agricultural purposes (these may also be the same sources of drinking water for these communities).
Lastly, the project will develop and implement a comprehensive plan to build the technical and managerial capacity of government institutions at various levels and community water institutions to improve the planning and management of water resources and services.