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Ethiopia: Accelerating Access to Sustainable Drinking Water and Sanitation

Ethiopia Lowland Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (USAID Lowland WASH) Activity


Ethiopia’s population of 90 million has one of Africa’s lowest rates of access to safe water supply. The lowland areas are under increasing pressure due to climate variability and change, population growth, conflicts over decreasing natural resources, and inadequate policy support—all of which reduce local peoples’ coping capacity. Limited hygiene awareness, combined with a lack of water supply and sanitation facilities and little capacity to manage the existing ones, exacerbate an already dire situation.


The Lowland WASH Activity is USAID’s flagship activity in the lowland areas of Ethiopia. In support of the Government of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan and ONE WASH National Program, DT Global works with the national and regional Government of Ethiopia, as well as with relevant institutions and stakeholders, to provide technical services, small-scale infrastructure, and training to the rural regions of Somali, Afar and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP). The USAID Lowland WASH Activity aims to:

  • Increase access to improved drinking water supply sources on a sustainable basis.
  • Increase adoption of key hygiene behaviors and access to improved, sustainable sanitation.
  • Improve efficiency and sustainability of food production from irrigated and rain-fed agricultural systems.
  • Improve water governance and data management.

Goals and Results

  • Providing over 255,540 people in rural regions with access to improved drinking water supply.
  • Engaging with over 212,009 community members, including religious leaders, school directors and local administrators through targeted hygiene promotion and education activities.
  • Enabling 277,523 people to have first-time and better access to sanitation facilities (e.g. latrines) and over 126 kebeles (municipalities) to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
  • Developed over 128 small-scale water systems that include leveraging of over $500,000 in private and public sector funding from Dow Chemical and UNICEF.
  • Installing 238 wireless remote sensors on water systems with an innovative cloud-based data management platform to assist regional water bureaus to track and monitor system functionalities more effectively.
  • Facilitating the adoption of natural resource management plans of over 9,284.50 hectares surrounding rehabilitated/new water systems.
2015 - 2021
Implemented by
DT Global US
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