Skip to content

UNICEF WASH (2022-2025)

Access to Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia

In 2020, less than half of Ethiopia’s population had access to basic drinking water services, and only 9% of the population had access to basic sanitation services. The lack of access to water and sanitation services creates a barrier to children’s school attendance, in particularly female students. In 2018, only 35% of primary schools had safe water, and only 28% of schools had basic sanitation. It is estimated that 15% of girls and young women have missed school due to the lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. Furthermore, clean water is adversely affected by extreme weather events and intra- and inter-annual variability of rainfall. Climate change thereby exacerbates existing issues.

UNICEF’s Ethiopia WASH programme

Denmark supports UNICEF’s Ethiopia WASH programme, which aims to enhance equitable access to safe, affordable, and sustainable water and sanitation services. The programme covers rural, urban and refugee areas at household, community, and institutional levels. UNICEF’s work is done in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia through Ethiopia’s One WASH National Programme (OWNP), a sector wide and multi-sectoral approach for WASH programme implementation monitoring, evidence generation and policy development.

The Danish support is mainly to Rural WASH and Urban and Refugee WASH. Within these areas, the funding is earmarked access to basic water services for approximately 500,000 people and the implementation of new climate resilient WASH schemes in Ethiopia. This aligns with the Danish long-term strategy of a greener development cooperation. Climate resilient WASH solutions will be implemented through climate adaptation methods, such as groundwater mapping to identify deep drought resilient water resources, and climate mitigation methods, such as solar driven water pumps. In rural and refugee settings, the programme increases the number of safe and private latrines and the number of safe and accessible water points. In addition, the programme will support institutional WASH initiatives to improve and provide menstrual hygiene facilities at school, thereby reducing issues of adolescent girls’ school absences caused by menstruation. This focus fits within Danish priorities for prioritizing women, youth and children.

Key documents:

- Programme document 

© UNICEF Ethiopia