WASH-related national initiatives
The development of the OWNP evolved through a series of processes from the late 1990s onwards. During those years, in addition to the Memorandum of Understanding and WASH Implementation Framework, various WASH-related policies, strategies and action plans were introduced by the government of Ethiopia and sector partners that were the springboard towards the development of the OWNP.
You have read about these policies, strategies and plans in Study Session 2. What were the most important ones?
Among others, the Ministry of Water introduced the National Water Resources Management Policy (1999), Water Sector Strategy (2001) and Water Sector Development Programme (2002). Similarly, the Ministry of Health had developed the National Hygiene and Sanitation Strategy (2005) and implemented the National Health Sector Development Programme. These were all aligned with national development plans such as the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Universal Access Plan (UAP).
Another significant initiative from the Health Sector Development Programmes was the Health Extension Programme (HEP) and its innovative community-based health care delivery system. The whole philosophy of the HEP revolves around empowering communities and households to be able to foster their own health and well-being. The HEP has been dramatically accelerating the promotion of basic and primary health care, including sanitation and hygiene, especially in the rural areas of the country where the coverage of those services was very low.
The development phase for the OWNP also saw increasing recognition of the importance of protecting the environment from the negative impacts of development and safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of the population. For WASH developments, these principles form the basis of the Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), which was prepared in collaboration with the World Bank. The ESMF sets out procedures to ensure that investments in WASH are implemented in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner (FDRE, 2013b).