Picture: Water points that have been placed closer to homes.
Ethiopia plans to become a middle-income country by 2025, with the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) being the main anchor. WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Irrigation WaSH programme of ORDA supports the Regional and National Governments program and is aligned with their objectives and strategies stated in GTP. The on-going projects are designed to contribute to improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene service delivery, access to safe, sufficient and reliable drinking water and improved sanitation, and sustained positive change in hygiene behavior. The Irrigation projects also contribute to the urgent need for reducing dependence on rain fed agricultural development systems in moisture stressed areas.
Australia Awards Alumnus Simeneh Shiferaw Moges (Masters in Water Resources Management at the University of South Australia, 2014) from Ethiopia says the skills and knowledge he gained during his studies in Australia have assisted him in aligning himself with the governments Growth and Transformation Plans where Water, Sanitation and Hygiene is concerned. “My studies have helped me to produce evidence based reports, project proposals, and increased my data analysis and modelling skills. It has also improved my technical skills such as ability the to use different types of international modelling software’s such as Climate models, land use models, Hydrology and hydraulic models, Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing,” says Simeneh who is the WaSH and Irrigation Program Director at the Organisation of Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA).
Simeneh’s main role in the WaSH and Irrigation sector is to achieve the long-term objectives of the organization through managing multi-donor funded institutional and community WaSH (urban and rural) projects in different districts of Amhara region. He also represents ORDA in WaSH sector forums, coordinated with relevant stockholders (beneficiaries, Woreda offices, Zonal offices, regional Bureaus, and donors) ensuring that all projects are implemented accordingly to the project proposals and contracts in accordance with the terms and conditions specified by the donors, and align with national policies and strategies.
In rural Ethiopia, a Water.org survey found that many women and children walk over 3 hours to collect water, often from shallow wells or unprotected ponds which they share with animals –the WaSH project has managed to reduce the water collection time in the Amhara regions to an average of 30 minutes according to Simeneh. “Water points have been constructed nearer the homes, allowing more time for other activities (including childcare, food production and income generation). We have had other concrete results achieved including the increase of average water consumption (in terms of potable water) per person per day and perception on hygiene and sanitation practice has improved –more beneficiaries are using latrines and hand washing facilities.”
Australia Awards –Africa recipients such as Simeneh return home with new skills and knowledge, and the ability to make a significant contribution to their home countries as leaders in their field.