On 08 October 2022, the COWASH IV Federal Technical Assistance Team (FTAT) had a preliminary discussion with the COWASH IV project stakeholders of the newly established South-west Ethiopia Peoples’ Regional State (SWEPRS).

Before the split of the SWEPRS from the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR), two woredas (Kechi and Mare Mansa) in Dawro Zone of the current SWEPRS were benefiting from the COWASH IV project. In order to continue the working relationship with these woredas, discussions were held between the COWASH IV FTAT and higher officials of the Regional Water and Finance and Economic Development Bureaus and their directors and experts.

Opening the meeting with a welcoming speech, Engineer Beyene Belachew, Head of SWEPRS Water Mines and Energy Resource Development Bureau, said that it is a pleasure for the region to cooperate with projects such as COWASH IV which are working in the rural WASH sub-sector.

Engineer Beyene added that the region is ready to provide any necessary support and committed to the achievement of the project as much as it can with all the challenges it has such as shortage of budget, poor infrastructure, and the like as a new region. He also expressed his hope that the COWASH IV project will support the region in solving the WASH-related challenges it has.

In the discussion, important issues were raised and agreed upon to make the project effective, and all the relevant parties agreed to complete the appropriate preparations in a short period of time and start project implementation.

As per the MoU signed between the Bureau of Finance SWEPRS and the Ministry of Finance, the total budget for the region from the Government of Finland is Euro 363,139 and the expected contribution from the region is Birr 26,418,364 a total of more than 46 million Birr.