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Before yesterdayIRC Sanitation

Getting water to Kabende subcounty, Uganda

22 July 2021 at 16:13

Challenges and successes of a public private partnership between Kabarole District Local Government, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and IRC Uganda.

In 2019, IRC Uganda facilitated a public private partnership between Kabarole District Local Government, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and IRC, to extend a piped water system from Kijura Town Council to supply Kabende sub county beyond the semi-urban centre to the rural areas. Through a series of interviews with service providers, users, local leadership and the district technical team, we share some of the challenges and successes the partners have experienced in the work they have done.

Life-cycle cost analysis for Splash school interventions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Update 2021

20 July 2021 at 13:52
By: Naafs

The WISE project is set to provide safe water, good sanitation, and healthy hygiene to all the schools in Addis Ababa. To put these services in place, both AAEB and SPLASH are investing considerable amounts of money. Hand washing stations, drinking water filters, latrine blocks are being built and hygiene behaviour change campaigns rolled out. But how much does it cost to keep these running once the project is over? Who will finance these operational costs?

IRC WASH did a study in 2019 to look at all the different costs (using the so-called – Life-Cycle Cost Approach- LCCA) and has now updated it for 2021. This has provided the following insights:

  • The WISE project has adapted since 2019 and has been raising the provided service levels. Particularly by reducing intermittent water, by including faecal sludge aspects, and by broadening hygiene training with janitors. This has led to an increase in CapEx cost per student from ETB 886 to ETB 3103. The Main CapEx cost is sanitation (63%) and therefore improving costs effectiveness of sanitation should have priority.
  • The annual recurrent expenditure is ETB 256 per student per year, of which ETB 184 (71%) is covered by Taxes (School budgets), 6% by Tariffs (parents paying for soap), and ETB 57 by Transfers (Splash mainly on support costs and operation costs for water).
  • To achieve good quality basic service levels ETB 595 per student per year on recurrent cost is needed. This gives a current finance gap of ETB 338, which is mainly toilet paper for students, which arguably should be covered by Tariffs (parents or other sources of income).

The key to securing funds for sustainable funding for WASH is working with sub-city and woreda staff on the allocation of the available budget. The annual recurrent expenditure of ETB 184 per student per year should be raised to ETB 240 to remove dependency on SPLASH funds for annual recurrent costs. This is respectively 6% and 4% of primary and secondary school fund allocation.

Guidance for African governments on sanitation policy

9 July 2021 at 17:24
By: Grift

Interview with Alana Potter, co-drafter of the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines.

  Stream of water pouring into children’s hands in southern Burkina Faso. Photo: Jadwiga Figula / Getty Images.

Stream of water pouring into children's hands in southern Burkina Faso. Photo: Jadwiga Figula / Getty Images

"Good policy with political ownership and leadership is the lynchpin and the lodestar of governance; of an enabling environment", says Alana Potter, a former IRC staff member and associate, now working as a Senior Policy Analyst at WaterAid.

The Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene defines clear, achievable commitments intended to deliver dignity and equity in sanitation and hygiene in Africa by 2030. The 2015 Ngor Declaration is a successor to the eThekwini Declaration (2008), and an assessment of the progress in honouring the commitments of both declarations over the last decade, it reveals a strong predication of an enabling environment as the lynchpin for progress. Good policy with political ownership and leadership were affirmed as key to creating an enabling environment necessary to meet sanitation and hygiene commitments.

The African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) is an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), based on research on Africa’s sanitation and hygiene policies and legislation in 2019. The study reveals gaps in laws and policies, which negatively impact sanitation service delivery, foster inequalities in sanitation service delivery and complicate financial resource allocation. The ASPG provides African governments guidance on the policy development process, vision, objectives and principles and addresses the hygiene and sanitation behaviour change; institutional arrangements; regulation; capacity development; funding, and monitoring, evaluation, and reviews elements of a clear and comprehensive sanitation policy to guide national sanitation and hygiene improvements. The Guidelines provide advice on the process and suggested contents of a sanitation policy for policy makers in national and subnational governments and other stakeholders involved in supporting policy reform initiatives and developing implementation strategies. 

Implementing the ASPG guidelines offers African governments the opportunity to develop a policy and an implementation plan that aligns efforts and to mobilise the required resources and investments. It provides a tool to galvanise and communicate in order to generate political support and increase prioritisation of sanitation and hygiene in the public and private sector.

Evidence affirms that for every 1 dollar spent on sanitation, countries can save up to 5 dollars in healthcare and lost income from tourism. By developing and implementing sanitation policies, governments will therefore build their economies and strengthen public and environmental health.

How the guidelines will help the WASH sector in Africa as it responds to COVID-19

The ASPG guidelines can help governments build the institutional strength and public trust required to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, by developing policies, plans and budgets, leading multi-stakeholder processes, and prioritising and allocating the resources needed to meet their human rights and public health obligations. Policy clarity now will build the resilience needed to tackle future global health and climate crises.

How can the WASH sector and IRC help to implement these guidelines?

WASH sector practitioners, partners and governments should popularise these guidelines far and wide, use them, adapt them, pilot them, and suggest improvements. In addition, IRC could create WASH academy learning modules from them.

Process of developing these guidelines, virtually

After the country consultations, the drafting team engaged twice face-to-face before lockdown and conceptualised the ASPG. The structure of the different sections and of the overall document went through many iterations, as this kind of work does. From there they worked on different sections and commented on each other’s work. The ASPG went through 5 or 6 rounds of detailed comment and review with different stakeholder groups because the drafters felt that the more sector stakeholders at all levels engaged with the material, the more ownership they would have, and the better the product would be. All five drafters discussed each comment in the entire document, online, together, in each of these reviews. The drafter leading a particular section got to make the call on how to address the comment and feedback and everyone kept track in an Excel document. Dr Amaka Godfrey, as the Lead Consultant, managed an extremely thorough and rigorous process. We had excellent editorial assistance from IRC board member Clarissa Brocklehurst. Finally, each drafter reviewed the entire Guideline. It took years, a lot of updated project plans, and at least one budget revision!

Additional information is available in the useful links and resources below.

Interview by Vera van der Grift and review by Cor Dietvorst and Tettje van Daalen

African Sanitation Policy Guidelines to provide focus on sanitation

5 July 2021 at 14:17

Toilets in Ethiopia

The African Sanitation Policy Guidelines will be of great value to Ethiopia as the country currently does not have an official policy.

IRC WASH Ethiopia staff recently attended the launching of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) by the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW). According to AMCOW, “the ASPG… are designed to provide guidance to African governments on the review, revision, and development of sanitation policies and strategies for their implementation.” IRC WASH Ethiopia has supported the development process at the invitation of the Ministry of Health, attending and providing input at a stakeholder consultation meeting and participating in a virtual consultation on the document.

The guidelines will be valuable to Ethiopia as the country does not currently have an official sanitation policy. It is hoped that these guidelines will be an entry point for developing a national framework, help improve coordination nationally, better track progress, and allow for comparisons regionally. Overall, progress in sanitation has not been as successful as water and it is hoped these guidelines refocus and re-energise stakeholders to engage in improving sanitation in Ethiopia.

IRC WASH Ethiopia looks forward to engaging with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy and other local partners to build upon the momentum these guidelines provide and give sanitation the attention it deserves. IRC WASH can also capitalise by continuing to advocate for sanitation financing, private sector engagement (with particular emphasis on women entrepreneurs), and taxation related to sanitation products. 

Involvement of IRC Ethiopia
  • Invited to participate by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry facilitated the stakeholder meeting. IRC WASH Ethiopia participated and provided input.
  • IRC WASH Ethiopia participated in discussion in online forums.
  • Issues have been raised in Africa sub meetings in which IRC staff and associates participated.
  • The launch of the guidelines was attended by IRC staff.
  • IRC WASH is active in AMCOW (secretariat under the African Union responsible for sanitation) (in AfriSan meetings, subcommittees).
How it impacts Ethiopia
  • No sanitation policy in Ethiopia so this will help shape one.
  • Long overdue to have clear policy and guidance.
  • Many activities but difficult to enforce across the country.
  • Demands all states to embrace and have commitment based on this framework.
  • Hope to improve coordination in the country for sanitation.
  • Entry point for more national frameworks, better systems, track changes through time.
  • Help compare performance regionally.
How it impacts IRC WASH
  • Know the gap in WASH, but sanitation is not a focus.
  • Advantage – momentum and reason to engage with government on sanitation.
  • Helpful to WASH actors to catalyse them to do more in sanitation.
  • Achieved national target for water but not sanitation in the past, this will continue to give more focus and remotivate actors.
  • Ministry of Health is mandated. Sanitation sits in different government offices, personnel, etc. No activity by government to make people aware. Awareness and priority are missing and this can help enforce standards.
  • Opportunity for more partnerships.

This article is based on an interview with Michael Abera.

Social and behavior change communication - participants' manual

28 June 2021 at 15:37

This manual is for planners, implementers and other stakeholders in the WASH sector working on social mobilisation and behaviour change communication activities in Ethiopia.

This training manual is developed to capacitate health professionals mainly health extension workers working with communities to understand Social Behavior Change (SBC) and apply the principles of SBCC in changing community’s behaviors on WASH behaviors such as Sanitation (safe disposal of human faeces) Hygiene (proper hand washing) and Water (safe handling of drinking water).

The manual comprises four major units; the first unit is about Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) to give an insight to participants on the concepts of SBC and basic elements they need to consider in reaching out to households in particular and the community in general to bring the desired change on various health behaviors in addition to WASH.

The second unit has basic elements of WASH concepts, importance of interventions, WASH doable actions or key messages and introduction of optional WASH products and services with a focus on those low cost and high-quality products that USAID TWASH promotes.

The third unit is about practical WASH household counselling visit where participants will be familiarized with communication materials (flipchart) they will be using while conducting household visits, and application of household visits which are the most important part of the session with the aim of developing the counselling skills of participants. Participants will make a pair and practice counselling target groups with the use of the flip chart.

The fourth and the final unit is explaining the monitoring and evaluation activities with a focus on monitoring tools such as proper documentation and reporting, supervision and review meetings. In this unit standard data collection and reporting formats will be introduced and distributed to participants.

Finally participants will prepare a kebele level plan and submit it to the facilitators on which their subsequent community mobilization and other activities would be monitored.

Watershed annual report 2020 (including 2016-2020)

28 June 2021 at 15:14
By: Grift

This annual report 2016-2020 presents the work the Watershed empowering citizens programme has done with its partners and its achievements since its initiation in 2016.

This annual report 2016-2020 presents the work the Watershed empowering citizens programme has done with its partners and its achievements since its initiation in 2016.

The Watershed Annual Report 2020 is a public document that is made available for information, transparency and accountability reasons. It was prepared by IRC, Akvo, Wetlands International and Simavi on request of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Content is based on the annual reports submitted by all work packages from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Bangladesh, India, International and The Netherlands.

Social behavior change strategy

28 June 2021 at 12:06

This strategy is developed to guide design and implementation of evidence based social behavior change interventions for promoting recommended WASH behaviors to create demand for products and services at household and community level for the USAID Transform WASH project in Ethiopia.

The USAID Transform WASH Activity envisions a thriving WASH market in Ethiopia driven by increased consumer demand for and use of affordable products and services, delivered through successful business models and supported by the Government of Ethiopia.

This behavior change communication (BCC) strategy is intended to suggest evidence-based behavioral change and demand creation approaches and to guide WASH behavior change intervention efforts implemented mainly by Plan International and synergized with the USAID Transform WASH Activity’s consortium organizations. This strategy is informed from a desk review of WASH-related policy, strategy, and program documents and survey reports; a review of WASH-related social behavior change communication (SBCC) material mapping; and a critical review of existing tools from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), and stakeholder and partner consultation/discussion at national, regional, zonal, and woreda levels.

The document comprises the analysis involved in identifying the major WASH behaviors to focus on, the key audiences, major barriers, and behavioral determinants that motivate target groups to develop sustained behavior change toward WASH practices, as well as the results the project activities need to achieve along with suggested interventions.

Furthermore, the social behavior change (SBC) strategy is expected to improve the effectiveness of WASH service delivery by addressing the demand/user side gaps by creating awareness, demand, and acceptability for the WASH products and services provided through community-based approaches. The strategy will address the social support and norm to improve WASH behaviors in the project intervention areas through a multi-level approach that includes the harmonization of interpersonal communication, community mobilization, and advocacy that helps the project to achieve its objectives.

Ethiopian national market-based sanitation implementation guideline

22 June 2021 at 11:14

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with non-governmental partners among them IRC Ethiopia, developed the National Market-Based Sanitation Implementation Guideline.

This revised guideline aims to facilitate development of sustainable sanitation and hygiene markets whereby households have access to broader range of quality, affordable and preferred basic sanitation and hygiene products and/or services from private-sector suppliers at accessible delivery outlets. The guideline is also designed to support accelerated implementation of market-based sanitation interventions on a wider scale in the regions, districts and ensure sectoral accountability at all levels in Ethiopia.

Thus, this implementation guideline describes different types of basic sanitation and hygiene products and services that are expected to be offered by interested enterprises/entrepreneurs. It also provides step-by-step guidance on sanitation market development, including conducting formative research and product supply chain analysis to inform local businesses on the benefits of developing and standardizing sanitation products and service delivery, setting of affordable yet profit-making prices, promotion/demand creation, distribution, and sales of products and services to consumers. In addition, the guideline describes important enabling environment considerations that are vital for smooth implementation of market-based sanitation interventions with key performance indicators to monitor implementation.

Striving to implement robust market-based sanitation in Ethiopia

21 June 2021 at 09:43

Ethiopia's Ministry of Health has, together with partners, developed a national market-based sanitation training manual to properly implement the guideline on the same topic.

This article is written by: Abireham Misganaw, Federal Ministry of Health

The implementation guideline launched during world toilet day celebration (photo by: Tsegaye Yeshiwas)

The implementation guideline launched during world toilet day celebration (photo by: Tsegaye Yeshiwas)

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with non-governmental partners, recently developed and launched the National Market-Based Sanitation Implementation Guideline. According to Dr. Dereje Duguma, State Minister of the Ministry of Health, ‘’The guideline aims to facilitate the development of sustainable sanitation and hygiene markets whereby households have access to a broader range of quality, affordable and preferred basic sanitation and hygiene products and services from private-sector suppliers at accessible delivery outlets.’’

The guideline, the first major revision of the National Sanitation Marketing Guideline published in 2013, was launched on November 19, 2020 during World Toilet Day events. To properly implement the national market-based sanitation guideline, the ministry and its partners also developed the national market-based sanitation training manual.

Since November 19, 2020, the Ministry and the USAID Transform WASH project have been delivering a series of training sessions for trainers from 30 regional and other WASH sector organisations as part of their support for a market-based approach to sanitation. So far, a total of 114 woredas (districts) have received training (24 in the Amhara region, 13 in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples region (SNNPR), 45 in the Oromia, 10 in Somali, eight in Sidama, four in the Gambela, six in Benishangul Gumuz, and four in Dire Dawa municipality).

86 districts that received training were awarded 151,500 birr to build sanitation centres. Previously, as part of on-going support for market-based sanitation, an additional 50 districts received financial support for market-based sanitation.  48 of them trained young entrepreneurs, provided working sites, and launched 65 sanitation marketing centres.

The Ministry of Health is planning to strengthen market-based sanitation by:

  • reinforcing market-based sanitation training;
  • strengthening sanitation market centres;
  • advocating and working with financial institutions to provide sanitation services for low- and middle-income households;
  • providing a subsidy protocol for poor households;
  • developing a sanitation, hygiene, and environmental health policy; and
  • conducting a study on approaches of sanitation and hygiene practice.

In the second Health Sector Transformation Plan, the Ministry of Health aims to increase the proportion of households with access to basic sanitation services from 20% in 2019 to 60% in 2025, through market-based hygiene, sanitation and environmental health facilities and an inclusive market-based approach.

Renforcement des systèmes WASH : les bases

11 June 2021 at 14:58

Renfercement des systemes WASH

Pourquoi avons-nous besoin de renforcer les systèmes WASH ?

L'accès à l'eau, à l'assainissement et à l'hygiène constitue le fondement même d'une vie saine et digne. Il est essentiel pour améliorer la santé, l'éducation et les moyens de subsistance. Pourtant, dans le monde, 2,1 milliards de personnes n'ont pas accès à l'eau potable et 4,5 milliards de personnes n'ont pas accès à l'assainissement.

Pour garantir la pérennité des services WASH, il faut une réflexion globale et la mise en place de systèmes solides. Désormais, grâce aux cours en ligne gratuits de la WASH Systems Academy, chacun peut apprendre les bases de la fourniture de services d'eau et d'assainissement résilients et prendre part au changement nécessaire pour ne laisser personne de côté. Construisons ensemble des systèmes WASH solides.

Renforcement des systèmes WASH : les bases

Vous voulez tout savoir sur le renforcement des systèmes WASH ? Rejoignez le cours gratuit "Renforcement des systèmes WASH : les bases".

La WASH Systems Academy est une plateforme interactive développée pour aider les professionnels du secteur WASH à appliquer une approche de renforcement des systèmes WASH. Si vous êtes en début de carrière ou si vous êtes un expert senior du secteur WASH qui souhaite comprendre ce qu'est une approche de renforcement des systèmes et comment vous pouvez l'intégrer dans votre travail, ce cours en ligne gratuit est fait pour vous. Les systèmes WASH forts ne peuvent être construits qu'ensemble.

Voici comment créer votre compte

Objectifs du cours

Ce cours couvre les concepts de base du renforcement des systèmes WASH. Il s'agit de comprendre comment parvenir à une prestation de services WASH durable pour tous et comment fonctionner efficacement dans ce processus. Il vous aidera à comprendre l'approche du renforcement des systèmes WASH :

  • ce qu'il est
  • comment et pourquoi il a été développé
  • comment commencer à l'appliquer.

Chaque session a des objectifs d'apprentissage spécifiques qui sont décrits au début. A la fin du cours, vous aurez une bonne compréhension de l'approche de renforcement des systèmes WASH.

Aperçu des sessions

Le contenu de cette formation couvre les concepts de base du renforcement des systèmes WASH et est divisé en neuf sessions. La formation dure au minimum 16 heures et vous avez trois mois pour la terminer.

Après un an, l'accès au cours ne sera plus disponible.

Il est recommandé de suivre le cours en suivant toutes les sessions, dans l'ordre (par exemple, de la session 1 à la session 9). En cours de route, vous pourrez tester votre compréhension dans les trois tests à choix multiples et les deux quiz.

Le contenu du cours est le suivant :

  • Session 1 : Présentation de la WASH Systems Academy.
  • Session 2 : Des pompes cassées aux systèmes durables
  • Session 3 : Qu'est-ce que le renforcement des systèmes WASH ?
  • Session 4 : WASH est un service
  • Session 5 : Renforcement des systèmes d'assainissement
  • Session 6 : Promotion de l'hygiène pour le renforcement des systèmes WASH
  • Session 7 : Renforcement des systèmes WASH à l'extérieur de la maison
  • Session 8 : Ne laisser personne de côté
  • Session 9 : La feuille de route pour des services WASH durables
Travailler hors ligne

Vous pouvez télécharger les textes complets des sessions, y compris tous les exercices, via l'onglet ressources du cours. Cela vous permet de suivre une partie du cours hors ligne.

Cependant, vous devrez vous connecter à la plate-forme en ligne pour participer aux discussions du forum, télécharger les documents que vous créez et répondre aux tests à choix multiples et aux quiz.

Le certificat

Si vous réalisez toutes les activités de toutes les sessions et obtenez une note de 80 % ou plus aux trois tests à choix multiples et aux deux quiz, vous pouvez télécharger un certificat numérique de réussite à ajouter à votre profil LinkedIn ou Facebook.

Votre certificat indiquera votre note de cours ainsi que le nom figurant dans votre profil, la date d'achèvement et un code de vérification.

African Sanitation Policy Guidelines

11 June 2021 at 12:28

Guidance for African governments and other stakeholders on the review, revision, and development of sanitation policies and associated implementation strategies.

The African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) have been developed by the Secretariat of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to provide guidance to African governments on the review, revision, and development of sanitation policies and associated implementation strategies. The Guidelines provide advice on the process and suggested contents of a sanitation policy for policy makers in national and subnational governments and other stakeholders involved in supporting policy reform initiatives and developing implementation strategies.

Part One provides the background and context of the ASPG, explaining what the document is about, why it was important to develop the Guidelines, as well as their scope and application.

Part Two provides guidance on the processes of reviewing and developing an inclusive sanitation policy, while taking into account national policy formulation procedures and local contexts. Although primarily designed to be used at the national level, this process can equally inform a subnational policy. This part details the decision-making process of developing a sanitation policy and the steps to developing a sanitation policy.

Part Three outlines the recommended core elements of a sanitation policy. It consists of eight chapters providing guidance on: vision, objectives, and principles; sanitation systems and service levels; hygiene; institutional arrangements; regulation; capacity development; funding; and monitoring and evaluation.

Part Four provides guidance for developing a policy implementation strategy for sanitation. It considers what an implementation strategy is, its importance, its development process, and it provides guidance on strategy formulation.

There are annexes with supplementary resources for the policy development process, for sanitation policy content, and for an implementation strategy; a suggested outline of a sanitation policy; sources of additional information on sanitation and hygiene, capacity development, regulation, funding, and monitoring and evaluation; a glossary; and an overview of country consultation meetings.

Celebrating women’s leadership in WASH during the COVID-19 Pandemic

28 May 2021 at 09:56

Inspirational stories about how ordinary women in India and Kenya have converted the challenges posed by COVID-19 into an opportunity to promote good hygiene practices.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women more than men in several ways, according to studies. They have had to take care of patients while coping with lock-downs that have restricted access to daily necessities and basic services, including water, sanitation and hygiene. At the same time, however, women have shown great strength and leader-ship in managing the uncertainties and challenges unleashed by this crisis.

To celebrate the 2021 International Women’s Day theme - #ChooseToChallenge – IRC, Water for People, WaterAid and the SuSanA India Chapter brought together stories of women’s perseverance and initiative. These illustrate how they leveraged WASH to handle the challenges posed by the pandemic. The women are from diverse backgrounds and several states of India.

The four organizations conducted a webinar in which the women shared their experiences. Additionally, many others shared their stories that have been included in this compendium. These inspirational stories depict how ordinary women have converted the challenges posed by COVID-19 into an opportunity to promote good hygiene practices. The stories are arranged alphabetically.

Strengthening WASH businesses in Ethiopia – tariffs and taxes on sanitation products

27 May 2021 at 08:02
By: tsegaye

Taxes and tariffs imposed on sanitation products significantly increase the cost of the product and affects affordability.

SATO pans for sale in Amhara Region, Wore Illu Woreda - Photo by: Tsegaye Yeshiwas

In a series of posts, we will present the main challenges that businesses face when expanding their range of WASH products and services in Ethiopia. We will also highlight a set of recommended regulatory and policy actions to overcome these challenges. This is the fourth out of eight posts. It covers challenges related to taxes and tariffs for sanitation products and services.

According to the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme, only seven percent of Ethiopians have access to basic sanitation services (JMP, 2019). Achieving universal access to basic WASH services in the country requires further development of the country’s private sector. The Government of Ethiopia recognises the importance of the private sector in generating demand and creating access to materials and services for construction of improved latrines and leads market-based sanitation efforts (FMoH, 2016). However, the current market for WASH products and services meets only a fraction of the country-wide need. To gain more insight, the USAID Transform WASH team talked to more than twenty key informants (business owners and government officials) in Ethiopia and the East Africa region to identify the main challenges facing WASH market development in Ethiopia.

To learn more, follow this link to the full Learning Note.

Overview of tariffs and taxes

One of the primary challenges that businesses face in Ethiopia is taxation, which significantly increases the cost of goods to customers, particularly for imports (sum of taxation can be up to 50% of the retail price). To promote domestic manufacturing, the Ethiopian government follows an “import substitution” model, using import tariffs (duties) to raise the cost of imported finished goods and selectively reducing duties on imports of raw materials used to manufacture goods domestically. In the price-sensitive WASH market, relatively low demand can prevent businesses from achieving profitability when introducing or expanding a WASH product and service portfolio. As both imports and domestically produced products are key components of building any nascent market, current levels of taxation should be considered a major impediment to market growth.

Goods imported into Ethiopia are subject to up to five different types of tariffs and taxes, including customs duties, value added tax (VAT), surtax, excise tax, and withholding tax – all of which generally are added into the retail sales price paid by consumers.

  • Customs duties are applied to imported goods and can range from zero to 35 percent, depending on how government classifies the item as a raw material which will be further developed locally or a finished product to be sold directly.
  • Excise tax is typically levied on items considered “luxuries” (e.g., perfumes) or goods that are hazardous to health (tobacco products and alcoholic beverages).
  • Value added tax (VAT) of 15 percent is levied on imported goods, as well as on all domestic sales transactions where products are sold and change hands.
  • Surtax is a flat 10 percent fee used to raise additional revenue on certain products. It is based upon the sum of customs value, customs duty, excise tax, and VAT. Some products have been exempted from surtax, including fertilizer and petroleum (Kebede, 2019).
  • Withholding tax is applied to all purchases (3% for imported goods and 2% for domestic goods).
Tariff and tax relief and reform

An example of how taxes and tariffs affect the sanitation sector is provided by the SATO pan, a low-cost toilet improvement option, which is currently imported into Ethiopia at a cost of 152 ETB from a manufacturer in Kenya. SATO pans are classified as “finished products” so they are subject to the following tariffs and taxes:

  • Customs duty of 30 percent
  • VAT of 15 percent
  • Surtax of 10 percent
  • Withholding tax of 3 percent.

With all relevant tariffs and taxes applied to this product (and no credits applied for previous VAT payments) as well as profit margins, the pan’s consumer price more than doubles from around 200 ETB to nearly 500 ETB full retail price (Kebede, 2019). This poses a significant challenge to SATO retailers – the tax-induced price increases make the product difficult to sell, particularly to lower income customers.

In the interest of keeping the price of SATO pans as low as possible and help establish them as a new market entry in Ethiopia, the government has permitted the first few rounds of bulk imports to be exempted from customs duties; however, a long-term solution is not yet in place.

The government is presently engaged with interested parties in proposals to reduce or eliminate customs duties and taxes on a range of WASH products, such as low-cost sanitation items, menstrual pads, and household water treatment products. In early 2021, Ethiopia recognised menstrual hygiene management products as essential items and reduced custom duties from 30 percent to 10 percent (MoFEC, 2021).

A long-term solution to the tariff and tax issues on WASH products will require that the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority and the Ministry of Finance get involved to re-classify certain products as “priority” items or take other relevant steps to help keep the cost of these products as low as possible.

The VAT is an especially challenging tax due to its outsized importance for government revenue and complicated administrative implementation. It accounts for 41 percent of total federal domestic revenue and thus is a very important income source for the government and is applied on imports and all subsequent product sales transactions. In principle, it should be possible to deduct VAT charges paid in previous transactions throughout the value chain. However, in practice this procedure, which requires accurate accounting and reporting, is not always possible.

Some outlets and retailers may be exempt from charging VAT (e.g. when annual turnover is less than 1,000,000 ETB), and instead pay a turnover tax (similar to a sales tax) of two to 10 percent.

Although there are procedures for adjusting VAT payments based on prior amounts paid, it is likely many businesses do not follow these procedures due to a lack of understanding of how the process works (Kebede, 2019). The consumer ultimately covers the cost of VAT and all other applied taxes.


Steep import tariffs and a range of domestic taxes can greatly increase the cost of sanitation and other critical WASH products. This lowers overall demand and places additional economic burdens on poor households. We recommend the following actions:

  • Complete ongoing research to understand the effects of lowering tariffs and taxes on sanitation products, including influence on consumer demand and government revenues.
  • Review and revise the classification of imported WASH products to ensure critical items can be readily imported.
  • Review and revise import tariff and domestic tax rates and policies to ensure critical WASH products are as affordable as possible to households.
  • Provide training on VAT to raise awareness on accounting and reporting processes among stakeholders.

A district level roadmap for universal access to sustainable sanitation services

19 May 2021 at 16:50

This document provides guidance, available tools, and case studies from Agenda for Change members on district-level planning for sustainable sanitation services.

This document provides guidance, available tools, and case studies from Agenda for Change members on district-level planning for sustainable sanitation services. This roadmap is based on primary and secondary sources of information and builds on the work carried out by other WASH organizations such as Plan International and UNICEF.

The document begins with definitions of key terms and an introduction to Agenda for Change and the district wide approach. Chapter 2 describes the scope and main differences between water and sanitation services (and associated planning). Chapter 3 presents the step-by-step process of developing a WASH district roadmap focusing on sanitation service delivery. Each step is described in terms of its objective, the key questions that need to be answered, the outputs and the methods or tools that are currently available. Annex 1 presents examples of some Agenda for Change members' district wide approaches to sanitation services, gathered through a set of interviews, and Annex 2 provides a list of useful resources for sanitation services.

Strengthening WASH businesses in Ethiopia - Intellectual property rights

11 May 2021 at 14:27
By: tsegaye

Some business owners and government officials have doubts regarding whether current intellectual property rights are adequately protected or enforced once granted.

The USAID Transform WASH team interviewed more than twenty key informants, business owners and government officials, in Ethiopia and the East Africa region to identify the main challenges facing WASH market development in Ethiopia. Based on the findings of this study, this is the third of a series of eight articles that explore the primary challenges that businesses face introducing or expanding their range of WASH products and services in the country. We will also highlight a set of recommended regulatory and policy actions to overcome these challenges. This post covers challenges related to protection of intellectual property rights, a significant area of concern among the key informants. 

According to the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme, only about seven percent of Ethiopians have access to basic sanitation services, and more than one-fifth of the population practices open defecation (JMP, 2019). Achieving universal, sustainable access to basic WASH services in Ethiopia will require expanded involvement and development of the country’s private sector. The Government of Ethiopia recognizes the importance of the private sector at all levels  and leads a country-wide effort to strengthen businesses that offer WASH products and services. The Ministry of Health recently updated its market-based sanitation strategy, which aims to generate demand and expand access to supply of basic sanitation and related products.

To learn more, follow this link to the Learning Note.

Intellectual property (IP) rights are granted to persons or companies for creating a unique design, invention, process, or work of art or music. IP rights are awarded through a legal process and generally give the owner exclusive rights to use their creation for a specified period of time. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are examples of legal mechanisms that codify IP rights.

If business owners do not earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent, they will feel unprotected, discouraged and may even decline to work in the business. Putting in place robust intellectual property rights fosters an environment in which innovation and productivity can flourish. Therefore, intellectual property rights are fundamental to business investment and growth. According to many stakeholders in Ethiopia, intellectual property regulations needs reconsideration to ensure adequate protections for inventors and businesses. Foreign investors feel the annual intellectual property right renewal process as a risk. In joint ventures the local partner is also obtaining the patent right, some foreign business owners are questionable that it will risk their intellectual property protection. There is also uncertainty about the adequate protection or enforcement of intellectual property rights once granted.

Ethiopia's intellectual property rights and protection

IP rights for industrial designs enable companies to earn recognition and/or benefit financially from their inventions or creations. The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office registers intellectual property protections under the Patent Act. (Proclamation Concerning Inventions, Minor Inventions, Industrial Design No. 123/1995).

Two types of IP protection are most common with respect to WASH products:

  • Patent of Invention: This patent applies to the first registration of a piece of intellectual property invented in Ethiopia or for IP that is registered in Ethiopia within 12 months from successful first registration in another country. A patent of invention is granted an initial period of protection of 15 years and can be extended for another five years.
  • Patent of Introduction: This is used for protected inventions from abroad that will be introduced to Ethiopia. A patent of introduction is valid for a maximum of 10 years. However, patent owners must file to extend this protection every year - after the third year - and pay relevant maintenance fees. For some patent owners, the annual renewal process may be perceived as a risk and threat to their IP protection. For example, in the United States, depending on the patent, protection is granted for 14 to 20 years (with periodic fees) (STOPfakes.gov, 2016).

Most locally registered businesses interviewed for this study found the application process for patents to be relatively easy and straightforward. The application process requires a certificate of incorporation, suggesting it is advantageous to be a locally registered business or joint venture (a foreign business with a local counterpart).

For a joint venture, the local partner also acquires patent rights. Some patent owners have said the risks of this increase to their IP protection.

There also were concerns raised by respondents regarding whether current IP rights are adequately protected or enforced once granted. Businesses that have invested extensively in design innovations and their “brand” need to be able to protect those designs and brand names and will continue to rely upon patents and royalty payments to maintain their ability to operate competitively in the market.

Use of patents in licensed production

Licensed production is the authorized production (in Ethiopia) of a product using technology developed elsewhere. This involves obtaining permission from a company (licensor) to manufacture and sell its products. The company in Ethiopia that obtains these rights (the licensee) usually agrees to pay royalty fees to the owner or licensor (Haile, 2018).

For example, a plastics manufacturer established licensed manufacturing and distribution contracts with local manufacturers in the East Africa region, including in Kenya and Tanzania. IP rights (patent protection) played a crucial role by protecting the licensor’s technology, and they also gave the licensee (local manufacturer) a market advantage.

In Ethiopia, the same company experienced challenges licensing a local manufacturing company for production of their sanitation product. If a licensor does not have a valid Ethiopian manufacturing license, Ethiopian law does not permit the licensor to import and own a mold. Injection molds are the main capital investment required to start manufacturing plastic products. Therefore, a manufacturing licensee would purchase and import the mold and would then fully own the intellectual property. Such a transaction would be permanent; in effect, it would not allow the licensor subsequently to change the local manufacturer by giving the mold to a new licensee, if they felt that this was required. This limits flexibility among participants of the market and generally leads to increased costs of doing business, which are passed on to the consumer.

These licensing challenges could be avoided if an enterprise could obtain an Ethiopian manufacturing license. Other options include establishing a joint venture with a local manufacturing company, possibly with specific contractual arrangements between the licensor and licensee, to mitigate the risks discussed above. However, the financial and administrative hurdles associated with these approaches may be perceived as deterrents by potential investors, adding to the risk factors that inhibit companies from exploring local manufacturing of new WASH products in Ethiopia.


Stronger IP protection, as well as longer protection periods, could help encourage certain investors to introduce and/or invent new WASH products and services in Ethiopia. This type of reform also would encourage local manufacturing of essential WASH products.  USAID Transform WASH recommends:

  •  A review of trademark and patent protection systems and implementation of any needed reforms to ensure they are competitive both regionally and globally. Reforms might include issuing multi-year protections, ensuring joint-venture partners can retain certain IP protections, lengthening overall protection periods, and adequately enforcing current laws.
  • A review (and reform, if needed) of importation policies for manufacturing equipment to simplify licensed production of WASH products in Ethiop

By 2025 we should be at zero

3 May 2021 at 16:13

The First Lady of Burkina Faso urges the number of health care facilities in sub-Sahara Africa without effective drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services to be zero by 2025.

Madame Sika Kabore

On 26 April, the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Adjoavi Sika Kaboré, participated in the Africa Regional Leaders Summit on WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) in health care facilities. She was accompanied by the Burkinabe Minister of Health, Charlemagne Ouédraogo. Together they demonstrated the importance of this issue and their strong commitment and leadership driving WASH in health care facilities.

In her address, she called for urgent action, not only to address the severe lack of WASH in health care facilities in response to the global pandemic, but to correct the massive challenges faced by the health community and the general population daily. Globally, half of health care facilities do not have basic drinking water supply services. Two out of three health care facilities lack basic sanitation services. The First Lady added that ‘there is no doubt that the health and well-being of health workers, patients and many other users of health care facilities are seriously endangered.’

Burkina Faso has mounted a response to this immense challenge. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Water and Sanitation have adopted a national strategy which addresses access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities. Progress has been made. But, despite the commitment and support of development partners, challenges persist.

The First Lady called on leaders to be courageous and ‘make strong and systemic contributions to the problems of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene’. In her call she referred to her husband’s - President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré - 2015 motto, "zero water chores and a healthy living environment for all!" which reflects a firm commitment to the complete and definitive eradication of water, sanitation, and hygiene problems at all levels.

Zero health care facilities without effective drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services systems in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025 is an achievable vision requiring a joint effort at sub-regional, regional, and global community level.

Let's follow First Lady Kaboré's lead and do our part in helping get to zero. Whether you are a government official, member of civil society, work in the private sector, an academic, or donor - speak up, make a commitment, and take action and let’s make sure policies, regulations and funding match the ambition.


Read the translated speech in English below

The full address in French can be found underneath

Speech by Sika Kaboré, First Lady of Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou, 23 April 2021


Honourable guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear participants,

First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to WHO, UNICEF and all the organisers for the initiative of this Summit, and the honour they do me to allow me to deliver this address in order to share my analysis on the major issues around water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities in Africa.

I would like to take this opportunity to salute the relevance, timeliness and urgency of the issue of improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene in health care centres in light of achieving universal health coverage.

Honourable guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is worrying given reports which reveal that half of health facilities do not have basic drinking water supply services. This situation is made worse by the fact that two thirds of health facilities do not have basic sanitation services.

There is no doubt that the health and well-being of health workers, patients and many other users of health facilities are seriously endangered.

My country, Burkina Faso, is also faced with this reality. How can one respect basic hygiene rules in health centres without drinking water, without decent toilets, without hand hygiene facilities at the points of delivery of care?

The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us, of the urgency to act. We are not immune to possible epidemics or pandemics whose consequences could further amplify.

We must act urgently, not only in response to the dread the Corona virus is causing around the world, but also to correct the massive consequences of the lack of clean water, sanitation and hygiene in our health care facilities.

Influenza, acute gastroenteritis, food poisoning, skin and eye infections, intestinal parasitoses, all these pathologies have always been spread by poor hygiene, seriously limiting all our other efforts aimed at continuously increasing the performance of our health systems to ensure effective universal health coverage.

Honourable guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We must act urgently to establish efficient and reliable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services in our health care facilities.

In Burkina Faso, we make this challenge our own, to ensure that each health care facility has the WASH infrastructure and equipment in place and is functional allowing essential and quality health care services.

To do this, and despite the modest resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry in charge of Water and Sanitation have invested in the promotion of health care facility hygiene through a National Strategy, taking into account access to water and sanitation and hygiene.

Thanks to this commitment and the support of partners, several projects have been carried out and progress has been noted; challenges persist, however.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Beyond the worrying situation in health care facilities, the lack of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in households is also crucial. According to the WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), in 2019, 76% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa could not wash their hands due to lack of running water and soap. This represents more than 840 million people whose health is at risk.

We cannot hide the immensity of this challenge and we cannot hide our responsibility as leaders in our communities.

Although a priority, a response restricted to only health care facilities would be like planting a few trees to restore a forest. We must have the courage to act and make our strong and systemic contributions to the problems of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in sub-Saharan Africa.

Honourable guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

In its march towards universal health coverage, my country, Burkina Faso, deeply identifies with the issues related to access to water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities.

And that is why my husband, the President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, has made a strong commitment since 2015: "Zero water chores and a healthy living environment for all!". This commitment is the translation of his deep concern about to the daily tragedies of the majority of our population. It reflects his firm commitment to the complete and definitive eradication of water, sanitation and hygiene problems at all levels.

Zero health care facilities without effective drinking water, sanitation and hygiene systems in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025 at the latest, this is the vision that I would like to share with you at this summit. But in addition, I would like to engage us all here jointly, to face the whole problem and resolutely aim for zero water chores and a healthy living environment for all and everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 at the latest: in households, and wherever our populations need it to live and thrive.

I base my conviction on a joint effort at the sub-regional, regional and global community level to achieve these objectives. The entire global health community, taking its responsibility for health prevention, must have the courage to tackle the painful symptoms of poverty, which are the deprivation of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in households.

For my part, I can assure you of my unwavering commitment to work actively, with the support of all international institutions, of all leaders concerned with ensuring fundamental human rights, so that all the commitments made by Burkina Faso Faso and all the declarations in favour of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, are translated into concrete actions and changes for the benefit of the populations of sub-Saharan Africa.

Let’s all be committed to ensure drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone and everywhere by 2030 at the latest!

Thank you !


Original speech in French

Discours de Motivation du Burkina Faso | Prononcée par Madame Sika Kabore, Première Dame du Burkina Faso  | Ouagadougou, le 23 avril 2021

Distinguées personnalités,
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Chers participants,

Je tiens tout d'abord à exprimer ma sincère gratitude à l'OMS, à l'UNICEF et à tous les organisateurs pour l'initiative de ce Sommet, et l'honneur qu'ils me font de me permettre de prononcer cette allocution afin de partager mon analyse sur la question majeure de l'eau, de l'assainissement et de l'hygiène dans les établissements de santé en Afrique.

Je voudrais saisir cette excellente opportunité pour saluer la pertinence, l'actualité et l'urgence de la problématique de l'amélioration de l'accès à l'eau, à l'assainissement et à l'hygiène dans les établissements de santé en vue de l'instauration de la couverture sanitaire universelle.

Honorables invités,
Mesdames et Messieurs,

La situation en Afrique subsaharienne est préoccupante au regard des rapports qui révèlent que la moitié des établissements de santé ne disposent pas de services élémentaires d'approvisionnement en eau potable. Cette situation est aggravée par le fait que deux tiers des établissements de santé ne disposent pas de services élémentaires d'assainissement.

Il n'y a pas de doute que la santé et le bien-être des agents de santé, des malades et de nombreux autres usagers des établissements de santé sont sérieusement mis en danger.

Mon pays, le Burkina Faso, est également confronté à cette réalité. Comment respecter les règles d'hygiène élémentaires dans un établissement de santé sans eau potable, sans toilettes décentes, sans installation d'hygiène des mains aux points de prestation des soins ?

La pandémie de la COVID-19 nous rappelle, si besoin en était encore, l'urgence d'agir car nous ne sommes pas à l'abri d'éventuelles épidémies ou pandémies dont les conséquences pourraient encore s'amplifier.

Nous devons agir en urgence, non seulement en réponse à l'effroi que provoque le Coronavirus dans le monde, mais aussi pour corriger les conséquences massives du défaut d'eau potable, d'assainissement et d'hygiène dans nos établissements de santé.

La grippe, les gastro-entérites aiguës, les intoxications alimentaires, les infections cutanées et oculaires, les parasitoses digestives, toutes ces pathologies se propagent depuis toujours par le défaut d'hygiène, limitant sérieusement tous nos autres efforts visant à accroitre continuellement les performances de nos systèmes de santé en vue de garantir une couverture sanitaire universelle effective.

Honorables invités,
Mesdames et Messieurs,

Nous devons agir en urgence pour instaurer des systèmes d'eau potable, d'assainissement et d'hygiène efficaces et fiables dans nos établissements sanitaires.

Au Burkina Faso, nous faisons nôtre, ce challenge, de faire en sorte que chaque établissement de soins de santé dispose d'infrastructures et d'équipements en matière d'eau, d'assainissement et d'hygiène en état de fonctionnement, permettant la mise en place de services de santé essentiels et de qualité.

Pour ce faire, et malgré les modestes ressources, le Ministère en charge de la santé et celui en charge de l'eau et de l'assainissement se sont investis dans la promotion de l'hygiène hospitalière à travers une stratégie nationale prenant en compte aussi bien l'accès à l'eau et l'assainissement que l'hygiène des soins.

Fort de cet engagement et l'accompagnement des partenaires, plusieurs chantiers ont été réalisés et des améliorations ont été constatées ; des défis persistent cependant.

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Au-delà de la situation préoccupante dans les formations sanitaires, le défaut d'eau potable, d'assainissement et d'hygiène dans les ménages est également crucial. D'après le programme commun OMS/UNICEF de suivi (JMP), en 2019, 76% de la population d'Afrique subsaharienne ne pouvait se laver les mains par manque d'eau courante et de savon. Cela représente plus de 840 millions de personnes dont la santé est mise en péril.

Nous ne pouvons pas occulter l'immensité de ce défi et nous ne pouvons pas occulter notre responsabilité en tant que leaders dans nos communautés.

Bien que prioritaire, une réponse restreinte aux établissements de santé s'apparenterait à planter quelques arbres pour restaurer une forêt. Nous devons avoir le courage d'agir et d'apporter nos contributions fortes et systémiques aux problèmes d'eau potable, d'assainissement et d'hygiène en Afrique subsaharienne.

Honorables invités,
Mesdames et Messieurs,

Dans sa marche vers la couverture sanitaire universelle, mon pays, le Burkina Faso, cerne profondément les enjeux liés à l'accès à l'eau, à l'assainissement et à l'hygiène dans les établissements de santé.

Et c'est pour cela que mon époux, le Président du Faso, Son Excellence Monsieur Roch Marc Christian KABORÉ, a pris depuis 2015, un engagement fort : « Zéro corvée d'eau et un cadre de vie sain pour tous ! ». Cet engagement est la traduction de sa profonde préoccupation face aux drames quotidiens de la majorité de notre population. Il traduit sa ferme volonté d'éradication complète et définitive des problèmes d'eau, d'assainissement et d'hygiène à tous les niveaux.

Zéro établissement de santé sans systèmes efficaces d'eau potable, d'assainissement et d'hygiène en Afrique subsaharienne au plus tard en 2025, c'est la vision que je voudrais partager avec vous à ce sommet. Mais en plus, je voudrais nous engager tous ici conjointement, à affronter l'ensemble du problème et viser résolument Zéro corvée d'eau et un cadre de vie sain pour tous et partout en Afrique subsaharienne au plus tard en 2030 : dans les ménages, et partout où nos populations en ont besoin pour vivre et s'épanouir.

Je fonde ma conviction sur une conjugaison des efforts à l'échelle communautaire sous régionale, régionale et mondiale pour réaliser ces objectifs. L'ensemble de la communauté mondiale de la santé, en prenant sa responsabilité de prévention sanitaire, doit avoir le courage de s'attaquer aux douloureux symptômes de la pauvreté que sont la privation d'eau potable, d'assainissement et d'hygiène dans les ménages.

Pour ma part, je puis vous assurer de mon engagement indéfectible à œuvrer activement, avec l'appui de toutes les institutions internationales, de tous les leaders soucieux du respect des droits fondamentaux de la personne humaine, afin que tous les engagements pris par le Burkina Faso et toutes les déclarations en faveur de l'eau potable, de l'assainissement et de l'hygiène, se traduisent en actes et changements concrets au profit des populations d'Afrique subsaharienne.

Toutes et tous engagés pour l'eau potable, l'assainissement et l'hygiène pour tous et partout au plus tard en 2030 !

Je vous remercie !


Rural sanitation project Kèlè Tchinè in Burkina Faso

30 March 2021 at 11:56

Kèlè Tchinè is a project that aims to accelerate universal and sustainable access to sanitation in ten rural communes in the central west region of Burkina Faso.

steering committee of the project

On Tuesday 23 March 2021 in Koudougou, the steering committee held a workshop on the project to accelerate universal and sustainable access to sanitation (Kèlè Tchinè) in ten rural communes of the central west region of Burkina Faso. Chaired by the governor of the central west region, this meeting aims to facilitate consultation between the stakeholders on the implementation of the project. 

Water is life, is always being advocated. However, one of the major development challenges in Burkina, and particularly in the central west, is adequate access to drinking water and sanitation services. Indeed, national statistics show a sanitation access rate of 19.7% in 2020 and 16.9% in the central west region.

This shows that more than ¾ of the population does not have access to adequate sanitation. With this in mind, a consortium of NGOs composed of Eau Vive Internationale, WHH, IRC and SOS Sahel was formed to join forces with the local authorities to carry out a joint project called Kèlè Tchinè in the Lélé language, which means "the hygiene of the concession".

Irène Coulibaly

The objective of the project to accelerate universal and sustainable access to sanitation in ten rural communes in the central west region of Burkina Faso is to take stock of the project's implementation since its inception. And to discuss the main difficulties encountered and identify solutions to improve the project's implementation and to plan the priority activities for the following year. It is financed by the European Union to the tune of one million five hundred thousand euros.

The opening ceremony was attended by regional and communal authorities, including the governor, who was also the chairperson of the activity, Irène Coulibaly; the secretary general of the region; the president of the regional council; the high commissioners and the various mayors of the beneficiary communes.

Tambi Pascal Kaboré, president of AMBF

In his speech, the president of the regional AMBF, Tambi Pascal Kaboré, said that this workshop is the culmination of collective and considerable work undertaken since 2019. Hence his wish to see the involvement of all for a successful project.

Nearly 170,000 people will be directly affected by the project

According to Jean Philippe Jarry, country director of the NGO WHH and head of the consortium, this project will contribute to improving access to sanitation services in rural areas in a sustainable manner, taking into account the human rights-based approach. He added that the project will eventually make it possible to build 4,000 latrines and 4,500 cesspools, rehabilitate 500 latrines for households, train and equip 224 local craftsmen (masons), and build the capacities of the populations of 112 villages in good hygiene and sanitation practices.

Jean Philippe Jarry, country director of WHH

According to him, nearly 170,000 people will be directly affected by the project in the long term. Jean Philippe Jarry ended by inviting all the participants to an open approach to better identify the challenges for the success of the project. He said: "I strongly believe that through a synergy of action between the different actors, we can achieve significant results for the well-being of our people."

Large health expenses due to lack of sanitation

The president of the ceremony, Irène Coulibaly, governor of the central west region, before officially launching the proceedings, stressed that a lack of hygiene and sanitation is one of the main causes of the so-called faecal peril diseases, the main cause of death among children and the elderly. She said that the expenses related to the lack of sanitation are estimated at more than 10 billion FCFA per year for health care according to WHO statistics. Hence, according to her, the urgency of eradicating this problem which poses a heavy burden on the well-being of the population as well as its socio-economic development.

The committee at the workshop

She also said that the implementation of the Kèlè Tchinè project will help achieve the objective of the government's policy through its National Wastewater and Excreta Sanitation Programme, which aims to ensure sustainable management of wastewater and excreta by 2030. While reiterating her commitment to accompany them in the completion of the project, Irène Coulibaly invited the participants to have frank discussions that could remove the blockages and enable them to go back to the field with more determination to implement the remaining activities of the project.

It should be noted that the communes concerned by the Kèlè Tchinè project are Niabouri, Silly, To, Poa, Ramongo, Sabou, Sourgou, Ténado, Bougnounou and Kassou.

Assainissement : Dix communes rurales du Centre-Ouest bénéficient

30 March 2021 at 11:03

Kèlè Tchinè est un projet visant à accélérer l'accès universel et durable à l'assainissement dans dix communes rurales de la région du Centre-Ouest du Burkina Faso.

Fonctionnaires pendant la réunion

Le mardi 23 mars 2021 à Koudougou, s’est tenu l’atelier du comité de pilotage du projet d’accélération de l’accès universel et durable à l’assainissement (Kèlè Tchinè) dans dix communes rurales du Centre-Ouest au Burkina Faso. Placée sous la présidence du gouverneur de la région du Centre-Ouest, cette rencontre vise à faciliter la concertation entre les parties prenantes sur l’exécution du projet.

L’eau c’est la vie, a-t-on toujours prôné. Cependant, l’un des enjeux majeurs de développement au Burkina, et particulièrement dans le Centre-Ouest, c’est l’accès adéquat aux services d’eau potable et d’assainissement. En effet, les statistiques nationales présentent un taux d’accès à l’assainissement de 19,7% en 2020 et 16,9% d’accès pour la région du Centre-Ouest.

Cela démontre que plus de ¾ de la population n’a pas accès à un assainissement adéquat. C’est fort de ce constat, qu’un consortium d’ONG composé de l’ONG Eau Vive Internationale, WHH, IRC et SOS Sahel a été suscité pour unir ses forces en collaboration avec les autorités locales afin porter un projet commun dénommé projet Kèlè Tchinè en langue lélé qui veut dire « l’hygiène de la concession ».

Irène Coulibaly

Le projet d’accélération de l’accès universel et durable à l’assainissement dans dix communes rurales du Centre-Ouest au Burkina Faso a pour objectif de faire le bilan de l’exécution du projet depuis son démarrage ; échanger sur les principales difficultés rencontrées et identifier des solutions pour améliorer la mise en œuvre du projet ; planifier les activités prioritaires de l’année suivante du projet. Il est financé par l’Union Européenne à hauteur d’un million cinq cent mille euros.

Notons que la cérémonie d’ouverture a connu la présence des autorités régionales et communales, dont entre autres, le gouverneur par ailleurs présidente de l’activité, Irène Coulibaly ; du secrétaire général de la région ; du président du Conseil régional ; des hauts-commissaires ainsi que les différents maires des communes bénéficiaires.

Tambi Pascal Kaboré, président AMBF

Dans son intervention, le président de l’AMBF régional, Tambi Pascal Kaboré, tout en souhaitant la bienvenue aux participants à cette session du comité de pilotage du projet Kèlè Tchinè, il précise que sa tenue constitue l’aboutissement d’un travail collectif et considérable entrepris depuis 2019 pour 42 mois. D’où son souhait de voir une implication de tous pour une réussite totale de l’activité.

Près de 170 000 personnes seront impactées directement par le projet

Selon Jean Philippe Jarry, directeur pays de l’ONG WHH et responsable du consortium, le présent projet pourra contribuer à améliorer durablement l’accès aux services d’assainissement en milieu rural en tenant compte de l’approche fondée sur les droits humains. Il ajoute que ledit projet permettra à terme de réaliser entre autres 4000 latrines et 4500 puisards et de réhabiliter 500 latrines au profit des ménages, de former et équiper 224 artisans locaux (maçons), de renforcer les capacités des populations des 112 villages sur les bonnes pratiques d’hygiène et d’assainissement.

Jean Philippe Jarry, directeur pays de l’ONG WHH

A l’entendre, ce sont près de 170 000 personnes qui seront impactées directement par le projet à terme. Jean Philippe Jarry a terminé en invitant l’ensemble des participants à une ouverture afin de mieux cerner les défis pour la réussite du projet. Car, dit-il : « Je crois fortement qu’à travers une synergie d’action entre les différents acteurs, nous pouvons atteindre des résultats notables pour le bien-être de nos populations. »

De grosses dépenses en santé dues au manque d’assainissement

La présidente de la cérémonie, Irène Coulibaly, gouverneur de la région du Centre-Ouest, avant de lancer officiellement les travaux, elle a souligné que le manque d’hygiène et d’assainissement est l’une des principales causes des maladies dites du péril fécal, principale cause de décès chez les enfants et les personnes âgées. Elle précise que les dépenses liées au manque d’assainissement sont estimées à plus de 10 milliards de FCFA par an pour les soins en santé selon les statistiques de l’OMS. D’où, selon elle, l’urgence d’éradiquer ce phénomène qui hypothèque le bien-être des populations ainsi que son développement socio-économique.

Comité de pilotage du projet

Aussi, elle précise que la mise en œuvre du projet Kèlè Tchinè permettra d’atteindre l’objectif de la politique gouvernementale à travers son Programme national d’assainissement des eaux usées et excréta (PN-AEUE) qui vise à assurer un assainissement durable des eaux usées et excreta d’ici 2030. Tout en réitérant son engagement à les accompagner pour l’aboutissement du projet, Irène Coulibaly a invité les participants à des échanges francs qui puissent lever les zones de blocage et qui pourront leur permettre de repartir plus déterminés sur le terrain pour la mise en œuvre des activités restantes du projet.

Il faut noter que les communes concernées par le projet Kèlè Tchinè sont Niabouri, Silly, To, Poa, Ramongo, Sabou, Sourgou, Ténado, Bougnounou et Kassou.

Market-based sanitation in action

16 March 2021 at 13:23
By: tsegaye

USAID Transform WASH teams up with Government of Ethiopia partners to visit Wore Illu Woreda.

The team visited different sanitation market centers

During a field visit in October 2020, a group from USAID Transform WASH (T/WASH), the Federal Ministry of Health’s Hygiene and Environmental Health Directorate, and the Amhara Region Health Bureau’s Environmental Health Officer gathered to observe T/WASH activities in the Amhara region. This was market-based sanitation in action in the field.

During the visit, we saw toilets built with cement slabs and retrofitted with SATO pans, a self-sealing toilet pan that uses a mechanical and water seal to close off latrines from the external environment. We met the masons who built these toilets, we discussed with sales agents who stimulate the sales of sanitation products, and spoke with families who have benefited from these products. Along with all the successes, we also observed and heard about some challenges from the woreda and community.

Wore Illu Woreda, a local district in the region, has 20 rural and four urban kebeles (subdistricts). The USAID Transform WASH project is operating in 15 kebeles where the required capacity has been built for construction businesses that now offer sanitation products and services. The improved latrine coverage of the woreda is 61%, according to Bekele Tilaye, Wore Illu Woreda’s Hygiene and Sanitation Officer.

Visit to kebeles

For the high-level delegates from national and regional offices, the visit was an opportunity to see and learn more about the implementation of market-based sanitation by the T/WASH project. We observed toilets consisting of a cement slab retrofitted with a SATO pan. These toilets are free from bad smells and flies. Near these toilets was a plastic pot for handwashing filled with water and with soap nearby. The toilets had a corrugated iron roof and door, and the walls were constructed from wood and mud.

In Kebele 09, we talked to several people to learn more about their sanitation experiences. One of them was Habtamu Yimer, a mason. Since October 2019, he has installed 192 concrete slabs constructed with SATO pans. He first constructed his own toilet and then did so for the kebele leaders. Gradually the community heard of his skills and requested him to upgrade their toilets. Mr. Habtamu is always communicating with the Kebele Health Extension Workers and sales agents to follow up on the demand created for improved toilets.

Merima Indris lives in Kebele 09. Last year, as soon as she received information about the SATO pan, she consulted her husband as she wanted one installed in her house. They had been using a toilet with a slab made from wood which was full of flies and smelled terrible. But after Mr. Habtamu built a toilet with a cement slab retrofitted with the SATO pan, their lives improved. Merima showed her two toilet rooms which every family member can use freely. She reported her family’s health has improved.

Beyenech Yimer, a sales agent, visits households to create demand for WASH products and services. She buys SATO pans from Mubarak Ali at a cost price of 180 birr and sells them to households for 200 birr, so she makes a small profit. After informing and persuading households of the benefits of sanitation products, they communicate with a local T/WASH-trained mason who can retrofit a SATO pan into their existing toilet with cement floor. For households that don’t have cement flooring yet, they can cover the extra expense by accessing loans through using a local village saving and loan association (VSLA), if one has been established. VSLAs are an effective demand creation initiative supported by T/WASH, who has established 28 VSLAs in Wore Illu Woreda.

In Segno Gebeya village, a village near Kebele 09, we met with Mubarak Ali, a shop owner and a member of an enterprise selling sanitation products. He sells various kinds of WASH products to sales agents and the community. His sales are improving gradually, and from all available WASH products, the SATO pan is the one he sells the most. He reported selling around 30 SATO pans per month, a significant improvement compared to the initial sales.   

With their improved toilet, Merima Indris and her families are living a better life

Meeting with Wore Illu Woreda District Administration and Woreda WASH Team Members

From the Woreda Health Office, we learned that coordination between their officials and the T/WASH team had led to improvements in market-based sanitation in their woreda. The Woreda Technical Team and the Woreda WASH Steering Committee are regularly monitoring and evaluating the project at both office and field levels. The Kebele WASH Team gets regular support and follow-up from the woreda. There is strong coordination and integration of sectors from the Office of Agriculture of the woreda down to the community. 

So far 1,712 SATO pans, 17 plastic slabs, and 27 SATO stools were installed. 117 plastic handwashing products have been sold. The woreda’s goals for these products have been met fully for plastic slabs and SATO stools. The 1,712 SATO pans are 65% of their goal.

For the construction of latrines, 20 masons have been trained by T/WASH and are providing services. Sales agents are promoting door-to-door with support from HEWs in their community. A total of 13 women sales agents have been trained by T/WASH and are now operating in the area.

In three project kebeles, 28 VSLAs, comprising 332 female members, have been established with the support of T/WASH. The total amount of funds saved by the VSLAs’ members is 92,780 birr.  369 members have taken out loans for the purchase of sanitation products for a total amount of 87,000 birr.

Moving forward in Wore Illu Woreda

Although positive observations were made during the visit such as the strong integration among sector offices and T/WASH which has led to more impactful implementation of the project at the community level, there is also room for some improvements.

In discussing with the woreda, it is recommended that there should be extra effort in promoting products. Scaling up the good achievements in the remaining kebeles should be taken up, particularly improving the number of SATO pans sold. They also want to expand beyond the three focus kebeles.

The SATO pans are valued as they are clean and attractive, but the low height of the toilets is not accessible to people with disabilities, the elderly, and pregnant women, and the toilets with two seats need to have separate doors for privacy.

The woreda still has to work out a provision of finance or support for the destitute who cannot afford improved sanitation products and are not able to contribute to VSLAs to ensure that all have access, and that containment of waste is ensured. The provision of well-maintained public latrines also should be considered to meet total coverage for sanitation.

The Wore Illu Woreda Administration is not content with its performance so far and is planning to work hard on improving market-based sanitation to benefit the community. Inflation of cement and sand prices is a major bottleneck that prevented the woreda from achieving its target in all project kebeles.

This blog was compiled with inputs from Melaku Worku.

About Transform WASH

USAID Transform WASH aims to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) outcomes in Ethiopia by increasing market access to and sustained use of a broader spectrum of affordable WASH products and services, with a substantial focus on sanitation.

Transform WASH achieves this by transforming the market for low-cost quality WASH products and services: stimulating demand at the community level, strengthening supply chains, and improving the enabling environment for a vibrant private market.

USAID Transform WASH is a USAID-funded activity implemented by PSI in collaboration with SNV, Plan International, and IRC WASH. The consortium is working closely with government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the One WASH National Program, and regional and sub-regional governments.