ADDIS ABABA- A model project that aims to upgrade water supply, sanitation and waste management system in urban areas was launched in Wukro town of the Tigray State on Sunday.
As part of the One WASH Plus program, the system integrates innovative and resilient solutions to provide WASH services to 73,000 people, including 35,000 children under the age of 15.
“Ethiopia’s rapid urbanization and population growth has resulted in increased water stress,” state minister of Water Irrigation and Electricity Dr. Negash Wagasho said during the inauguration ceremony adding that the development of adequate, resilient, sustainable and inclusive WASH services is therefore a must to ensure sustainable development of rapidly growing towns.
“The UK is the largest bilateral donor in the Ethiopian WASH sector and we are proud to fund the excellent work taking place in Wukro, which is supplying vital water and sanitation services to the town and its surroundings,” said Dr Rogg, Head of UK’s Department for International Development in Ethiopia. “I hope the progress in Wukro can serve as an example to be emulated on a national scale.”
“Investments of this nature, both in Wukro and elsewhere in Ethiopia, are not just improving access to essential services but are changing entire lives,” said Dr. Samuel Godfrey, Chief of WASH at UNICEF.
“Women and girls no longer have to walk long distances and spend many hours fetching water. Girls can go to school and attend their schoolwork while mothers have enough time to spend with their children and engage in other productive activities. For communities, a safe and clean environment means fewer disease outbreaks.”
The Wukro project involved expan ding the capacity of the town’s existing system to supply water to the town and five satellite villages, integrating it with a “full chain” system for managing liquid sludge and waste (from containment to recycling), improving water and sanitation in institutions such as schools and health facilities, and establishing a business model for managing the facility comprising the local administration and private operators.
The low-cost technology deployed in treating domestic liquid waste in selected social housing developments in the town was sourced through a partnership with the Government of Brazil.
The program, which began in 2013, has been benefiting 250,000 people in eight small towns and surrounding rural villages in Amhara, Oromia, Somali and Tigray states with a total investment of some US $36 million by targeting communities living in towns and in peri-urban areas.
Models such as the one in Wukro, some large and others medium sized, are now a key component of the One WASH program across more than 1,000 towns in the four states in Ethiopia.
BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW