2.2 Policies in the WASH sector

This section is about the policies designed by the Ethiopian government that have shaped the WASH sector and led to the OWNP. By policy we mean a high-level statement of overall purpose and principles that will guide plans and decisions.

The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1995), Article 10, sub-articles 1 and 2, state that:

  • Human rights and freedoms, emanating from the nature of mankind, are inviolable and inalienable.


  • Human and democratic rights of citizens and peoples shall be respected.

These fundamental human rights form the foundation for the policies of the Ethiopian government – including those that relate to WASH. The Constitution also states in Article 90 that policies shall, to the extent that resources permit, aim to provide all Ethiopians with access to health and education, clean water, housing, food and social security.

In the WASH sector, there are three relevant policy areas that have underpinned the OWNP: water, health and environment. These are described in the following sections.

2.1 Background of WASH in Ethiopia

2.2.1 Water Resources Management Policy