15.8 One WASH National Programme
To conclude this overview of national policies, and to conclude this module, we must consider the One WASH National Programme (OWNP). The OWNP, as the name suggests, is a single programme that combines water with sanitation and hygiene (Figure 15.5). Announced in 2013, it aims to address the WASH challenges in Ethiopia by adopting a unified and collaborative approach. The overall objective of the OWNP (FDRE, 2014) is:
to improve the health and well-being of communities in rural and urban areas in an equitable and sustainable manner by increasing access to water supply and sanitation and adoption of good hygiene practices.
The innovative characteristic of the OWNP is that it involves four ministries: Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education; and Ministry of Finance and Development. The four ministries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sets out their roles and responsibilities. It therefore cuts across the traditional separation of responsibilities between ministries and has structures and processes designed to ensure closer cooperation and collaboration between all the stakeholders.
The guiding principles of the OWNP are integration, alignment, harmonisation and partnership and its motto, ‘One Plan, One Budget, One Report’, neatly summarises its approach. Funds from external donors are pooled in a Consolidated WASH Account which will help to reduce problems of fragmentation of resources and lack of coordination between development programmes. The organisational structure of the programme describes the roles and responsibilities at all levels from the WASH National Steering Committee at federal level through Regional Steering Committees, Woreda WASH Teams and Town/City WASH Technical Teams, to Kebele WASH Teams and communities. Successful implementation of the One WASH National Programme should result in huge and sustainable changes to WASH provision in Ethiopia.