Improved water, sanitation & hygiene and Resilience in Amhara, Ethiopia (IWRA)
Improvement of the resilience of chronically food insecure households in East and West Belesa woredas in the Amhara regional state. The purpose is twofold: 1) to increase household access to water, sanitation and hygiene by improving irrigation management and environmental conservation in the communities and 2) to use water resources as an entry point to empower women, girls and people with disabilities to affect lasting change in the community.
1. Improved access to and sustainable management of sanitation and water resources for domestic consumption and productive use;
2. Improved protection of the environment and response to environmental shocks;
3. Increased capacity of marginalized groups to engage in income generating activities;
4. Enhanced ability of power holders and marginalized groups to challenge discriminatory social norms and expand the role of women and girls;
5. Increased engagement of local government with communities to address needs;
6. Increased involvement of the private sector in water, sanitation and the environment sector together with increased engagement of local government and communities with the private sector.
Target group / Beneficiaries
The intervention will focus on reaching particularly marginalized women, girls and people with disabilities, who will comprise more than half of the targeted beneficiary population of 244.117 individuals in East and West Belesa woredas in the Amhara regional state. In addition, around 24,400 people living in the proposed intervention kebeles will indirectly benefit from different project outputs.
In order to harmonize project activities with other stakeholders in the region, the Project team will work with representatives of different bureaus at region, zone and woreda levels (e.g. Women and Children affairs; Water, Irrigation and Energy; Disaster Prevention and Food Security Commission; Agriculture) and cooperatives.
Construct and upgrade water supply schemes including wells, dams and solar Systems. Support to communities to better manage and operate water resource systems (domestic and irrigation) and to conduct water and soil conservation measures. Support schools in providing water, sanitation and menstrual health and hygiene facilities. Trainings on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation. Assessments on climate vulnerability and watershed mapping. Raise awareness on early warning systems and plans. Support and train marginalised groups in income generating activities, market linkage work and legalisation. Advocacy in challenging discriminatory social norms and empowering of women and girls (trainings on barrier analysis, negotiation & life skills; internships; engagement with influential persons; school clubs).
Strengthen private sector actors with businesses in the water, sanitation and environmental sector in particular in better linking supply and demand (e.g. water and sanitation spare parts supply and operations and maintenance, seedling production, energy saving stove production etc.).
Rural households in Ethiopia often suffer from a high burden of disease due to poor access to clean water and sanitation systems and high rates of malnutrition. 60 to 80 percent of communicable diseases are attributed to limited access to safe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene services. In 2013 the Government designed a Water Supply, Hygiene and Sanitation Development Framework and in 2016, endorsed a One WASH National Plan, to achieve sustainable development goal (SDG) 6. The Government of Ethiopia Development Plan 2021-2030 includes a focus on improving irrigation-based agriculture, access to agricultural inputs and finance, livestock productivity, food security and nutrition programs. In addition, Ethiopia experiences recurring droughts and natural disasters. Furthermore, significant gender inequalities persist. Women are especially vulnerable to harm-ful traditional practices such as early marriage, abductions and forced marriages and female genital cutting, as well as economic, physical, psychological, and sexual violence. Women in both rural and urban settings exercise control rather over small-scale assets and have limited access to credit and capital while men have more authority over vehicles, farm equipment and property such as housing and land. Over the past years the government has increasingly recognized the critical role of women’s empowerment to achieve sustainable development goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had dire effects on Ethiopians' health and well-being and has led to schools' closing and increases in child-marriages among others. Finally, the armed conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and Tigray regional forces that began in November 2020 has profoundly affected households throughout Tigray and neighboring regions including Amhara. Internally displaced persons have fled to Amhara Region, including East and West Belesa woredas, which are adjacent to the conflict areas.
The Project will contribute particularly to SDGs 2, 5, 6, 10,13.