The Community-led Accelerated WASH Project, Phase IV (COWASH IV) provided a four-day training of  trainers (TOT) workshop in Tarcha town in South West Ethiopia People’s Regional State from October 2 to 5, 2023. The training aimed to build the skills of 22 trainers on gender and disability inclusion, women leadership in WASHCO management, WASH saving and loan association establishment for improved household latrine construction.

Participants included focal persons from the Bureaus of Water, Mines and Energy, Women and Children Affairs, Health, Education, and Finance of two project woredas and the Regional administration; South West Ethiopia Regional Support Unit (RSU) team members; and gender experts from the Regional Bureau of Water, Mines and Energy, Health, Education, and Women and Children Affairs.


COWASH IV Training of Trainers Workshop in Tarcha Builds Capacity of Local Stakeholders to Implement Sustainable WASH Initiatives

The training was facilitated by a team of experienced trainers from the COWASH IV Federal technical assistance team (FTAT) in collaboration with the RSU. It was well-received by participants, who appreciated the opportunity to learn from experts and to share their own experiences. “This training has been very beneficial for me,” said Ageno Alanche, a representative from the Regional Health Bureau. “I have learned a lot about gender and disability inclusion, and I am confident that I can use this knowledge to improve the implementation of WASH activities in my community.” Gessese Gebeyehu, the RSU team leader, said that the training is a critical step in building the capacity of local stakeholders to implement sustainable WASH initiatives. “The four-day training will help the experts to effectively carry out their work, particularly in facilitating WASH activities.”

The workshop in Tarcha is one example of COWASH IV’s commitment to building the capacity of local stakeholders to implement sustainable WASH initiatives. By equipping local experts with the skills and knowledge they need, COWASH IV is helping to ensure that communities in the South West Ethiopia People’s Region have access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services for years to come.


COWASH IV: A Key Project that has Contributed to Solving Long-Existing Community Water Supply Problems in the South West Ethiopia People’s Region

South West Ethiopia People’s Region is one of the eight regions where COWASH IV is working. The project is currently working in two woredas in the Region, Kechi and Mari Mansa, which are located in Dawro zone. COWASH IV has been one of the main actors supporting the Region in accessing safe water supply and improved sanitation and hygiene services for rural communities since the Region was established in the 2014 Ethiopian fiscal year.

The Region’s splitting process from the South Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), as well as investment and operational budget shortages from the Regional government, delayed the start of the project. However, despite these challenges, eight community water supply schemes (three in Kechi and five in Mari Mansa) were constructed in the 2015 Ethiopian fiscal year, benefiting about 2,664 people. In addition, the project facilitated the construction of 39 improved household latrines and provided eight training sessions.

Biruk Mesfine, COWASH IV focal person in Kechi woreda Health Bureau and Gessese, the RSU team leader said that COWASH IV has brought a long-awaited solution to the problem of water supply in the two project woredas. Gessese described the project as being very beneficial for the community and highly effective, particularly because it involves the community from the beginning to the end of water supply scheme construction. This has resulted in a sense of ownership among community members, which has made the project sustainable. Gobena Ute, a Community Managed project supervisor from the Mari Mansa Woreda Water, Mines and Energy Bureau, also hailed COWASH IV as an effective project that should be expanded throughout the region.

In 2016, the Project plans to facilitate the construction of 14 community water supply schemes that will benefit 3,900 people in the Region. In addition, six institutional water schemes and latrine construction in two health centers are planned under the project.

COWASH IV is a bilateral project between the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Finland. The project aims to support the acceleration of the rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene targets attainment through the establishment of an enabling environment and implementation of Community Managed Project (CMP) interventions in selected rural areas of the Region.