2.2.1 Water Resources Management Policy

The Ethiopian Water Resources Management Policy (WRMP) was issued in 1999. It deals with the overall water resources of the country, including both surface and groundwater. The Policy sets out how these water resources should be economically and sustainably used for different purposes, including water supply and sanitation, irrigation and hydropower.

The overall goal of the WRMP is ‘to enhance and promote all national efforts towards the efficient, equitable and optimum utilization of the available Water Resources of Ethiopia for significant socio-economic development on sustainable basis’ (MoWR, 1999). It establishes several fundamental principles to guide the management of water resources, including statements that ‘water is a natural endowment commonly owned by all the people of Ethiopia’, and ‘as far as conditions permit, every Ethiopian citizen shall have access to sufficient water of acceptable quality to satisfy their basic needs’ (MoWR, 1999). The Policy recognises the need for an integrated and comprehensive approach to management of water resources that is compatible with the goals of other sectors, including health. It also promotes the participation of all stakeholders, including user communities and particularly women. On water pricing and tariff setting, the Policy recognises water as a natural resource with an economic value that should be paid for, but the price for water should not be so high that it discourages water use, nor too low, which could encourage over-use and wasting of water.

2.2 Policies in the WASH sector

2.2.2 Health Policy