Enhancing the Ethiopian WASH sector and working towards the national development goals.

The COWASH IV Project

COWASH IV is a project conducted under the umbrella of the Country’s One WASH National program. It runs from 01 April 2021 to 31 December 2024 with NIRAS Finland Oy providing technical assistance services for the project through the Federal Technical Assistance Team based in Addis Ababa. It aims to improve public health and well-being, social development and climate resilience in the communities of the project area. To realize this, it is working to provide increased and sustained coverage of safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the rural areas of the selected woredas and has a target of 1.1 million beneficiaries.

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

The COWASH IV Approach

The essence and key operating philosophy of COWASH IV is the empowerment of the rural communities of Ethiopia to develop their own WASH facilities through the establishment of an enabling environment and the implementation of CMP interventions. Under COWASH IV, rural communities apply for support and are trained to design, implement, operate and maintain their own WASH facilities.

All work is jointly financed by the Government of Ethiopia, through the regional budgets, and the Government of Finland working through the Channel 1 mechanism of the Ministry of Finance. While the Ethiopian funds are primarily focused on the construction of community WASH facilities, the Finnish support is focused on human and physical capacity development together with the construction of school and health institution WASH facilities. The communities are expected to contribute to the project but normally through in-kind contributions such as materials or labour.

The key process in the implementation of COWASH IV is the cascading of training and knowledge whereby the central Federal Technical Assistance Team (FTAT) firstly provides training to Regional Support Units based in each project region. The Regional Support Units in turn train specialists in the zones and Woredas and they cascade the key information down to Kebele and community levels.

The training and knowledge sharing process is supported by a comprehensive library of manuals, guidelines and strategy documents prepared by the FTAT for use in the implementation of the COWASH IV project and covers a broad range of topics including financial management and procurement, investment via both the Woreda Finance Offices and micro finance institutions, CMP implementation, institutional WASH, water safety planning, social, environment, climate risk screening management, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCO) procurement, gender transformative and disability inclusion, saving and loan association formulation and operation, social and behavioural change, artisans training, water quality testing, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and project administration and implementation.

Project progress is monitored through an on-line database completed at Woreda level with oversight from both the Regional Support Units and the FTAT

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