Finland and Ethiopia working together to improve the welfare of rural communities

Who we are

COWASH IV is a bilateral project working to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in eight regions of Ethiopia. It is funded by the Governments of Ethiopia and Finland. It is implemented by the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy in collaboration with the Ministries of Education, Health, and Finance as well as regional WASH partners.

Transforming lives through clean water.

Our Vision

Improved public health and well being, social development and climate resilience in the communities of rural Ethiopia.

Our Mision

Increasing the sustainable provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene in 104 rural woredas.

What We Do

Build the capacity of WASH stakeholders. including community members, government officials. and service providers

Provide inclusive, increased. sustained. safe and climate resilient community Water supplies

Improve access and usage of household sanitation and hygine

Improve inclusive water and sanitation supply( access) in health and school centers (Institutional WASH)

Promote social and behavior change for good WASH practices

Where we work

Total Number of COWASH IV Woredas and Zones
S.N Name of Project Regions Number of Projects Zones No of Project Woredas
No of Project Woredas No of New Woredas Total No of Woredas
1 AMHARA 8 16 24 40
2 TIGRAY 5 3 9 12
3 SNNPR 5 0 11 11
4 OROMIA 11 12 18 30
5 BSG 3 4 0 4
6 SIDAMA 0 2 3 5
7 SWEPR 1 0 2 2
Total 7 33 37 67 104

Federal Technical Assistance Team

At the heart of the project, is the Federal Technical Assistance Team (FTAT). The FTAT provides the support needed to implement all aspects of the project in an efficient manner and leads the training and knowledge sharing process.


Finland and Ethiopia

The bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Finland date back to July 17, 1959. The two countries cooperate in the areas of economic development, water, and education. Their cooperation on the Ethiopian water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector began in 1994 with the Rural Water Supply and Environmental Program in the Amhara Region. The program was successfully implemented over the following 17 years, in four phases, up to 2011. In parallel, cooperation was expanded to include the FinnWASH project which addressed sector needs in five districts of Benishangul-Gumuz over the period 2008 to 2015.


The Community-led Accelerated WASH (COWASH) project was launched in 2011 and initially focused on the rural sector in Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples and Tigray Regions. The first phase was implemented from 2011 to 2014, the second phase from 2014 to 2016 and the third phase from 2016 to July 2021. These first three phases of COWASH provided rural communities with over 19,000 water points, institutional facilities and rehabilitated schemes benefiting almost five million rural inhabitants.


COWASH IV is building upon the work of the three earlier phases of COWASH and focuses on the achievement of targets through the establishment of an enabling environment and the implementation of community managed project (CMP) interventions. Compared to the previous phases, COWASH IV is working in an expanded project area and now covers 104 Woredas in 34 zones of eight Ethiopian Administrative Regions (Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Central Ethiopia, Sidama, South Ethiopia, South-west Ethiopia Peoples and Tigray).

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    Ministry of Water and Energy,
    Haile Gabreselassie Street,
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