SNV Ethiopia conducted national advocacy conference under the theme sanitation at scale.
The conference aimed to bring WASH stakeholders[i] to upscale Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for all Results Programme (SSH4A) integrated approach in their area to contribute to the achievement of national and global targets of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia targets to achieve 82% of improved sanitation coverage by 2020. Despite all the effort by sanitation stakeholders in the country, Ethiopia succeeded to increase its national improved sanitation coverage to 7% until end of 2015(JMP 2017 update), according to Abraham Misganaw, Federal Ministry of Health.
The slow progress created concern on how to achieve nation-wide sanitation coverage. WASH partners including Anne Mutta, Multi-country SSH4A Results Programme Manager, expressed their concerns regarding the issue. Anne said, “Using current rates of progress, by continuing to do what we are doing, it is expected that Ethiopia will reach 100% access in 2370 - 352 years. With this pace, it is expected that by the end of 2030 the coverage will reach only 9.17%”
In his opening remark, Dagnew Tadesse - Director of Hygiene and Environmental Health Directorate, Ministry of Health (MoH) - recognised the effect of poor hygiene and environmental health performance. He said, “Most of the ten top causes of morbidity in under 5 and adults are due to diseases related to poor hygiene and environmental health condition in the country.”
According to the director, the Ministry of Health has formulated hygiene and environmental health strategic document and is strengthening its capacity to improve implementation. Dagnew urged all partners to implement comprehensive implementation of hygiene and environmental health intervention in a coordinated manner to reduce the burden of hygiene and environmental health related disease in the country. He also expressed his commitment to scale up lessons from SNV[ii] and the conference.
Worku Behonegne, SNV Ethiopia Country Director, stressed that SNV has learnt from SSH4A project implementation that “engagement of leaders from federal, regional, zonal, woreda and Kebele levels in the whole process made our work effective.” Therefore partnership development will always remain part of SNV’s approach in all our activities.
According to the Multi-country SSH4A Results Programme Manager, in nine implementation countries nearly 2.9 million people were newly accessed to improved sanitation facilities as per JMP standard in RBF1 programme. In Ethiopia, 443,523 people in Waghimra zone and 204,065 people in Este woreda are newly accessed to improved toilets as per the JMP definition. Moreover, 192,261 people are increasing access to new sanitary toilet facilities in Este woreda.
Participants recommended to increase product option and affordability of sanitation marketing materials, and the mix of artisans engaged in social marketing, revitalise existing multi-stakeholder platforms, establish a forum of stakeholders engaged in sanitation and hygiene, and media forum, as well as institutionalise local learning alliance.
[i] Environmental health professional association members, university lecturers, WASH partner organisations, government officials (from federal, four big regions and woreda level), implementing partner (ORDA), and the private sector.
[ii] SNV in SSH4A results Programme implemented four-pillared integrated approaches: demand creation, supply chain and financing, hygiene behaviour change communication, and WASH governance supplemented with performance monitoring and learning.