1.6.2 Policies and programmes

Many Ethiopian WASH sector policies were developed before inclusion was recognised as a priority. The Water Resources Management Policy, for example, was developed in 1999 and gives little space for inclusion although it does refer to gender issues and the full involvement of women (MoWR, 1999). It expects users to pay for the water they use and promotes no subsidy for household sanitation. This means that people who cannot afford to construct their own latrine or pay for water facility maintenance are automatically excluded from the service, which particularly affects people with disabilities because of the links between disability and poverty.

In the last decade or so the situation has changed and inclusion has been on the WASH sector agenda. This was reflected in the WASH Implementation Framework of 2011 which expanded on the phrase ‘for all’ by specifying this included ‘disabled, disadvantaged and low-income communities’ (FDRE, 2011). This was followed by the One WASH National Programme (FDRE, 2013) which promotes social inclusion including gender equity and inclusive WASH services.

Policies and proclamations in other sectors have also incorporated principles of inclusion, for example, public buildings and school WASH facilities must be accessible to persons with disabilities (FDRE, 2009b; MoE, 2015). In 2012, under the leadership of MoLSA, a ten-year National Plan of Action of Persons with Disabilities was published (MoLSA, 2012). This aims to promote and protect persons with disabilities and to ensure that they fully enjoy their fundamental rights, public services and any other opportunities for education and jobs. It also aims to ensure that people with disabilities will fully participate in different events and community engagement processes but unfortunately makes no specific mention of access to WASH services.

Summary of Study Session 1