15.3 The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The Constitution includes several articles that are relevant to WASH, public health and the environment (FDRE, 1995).
Article 41/4: The State has the obligation to allocate ever-increasing resources to provide to the public health, education and other social services (economic, social and cultural duty and objectives).
Article 42/1: Workers have the right to reasonable limitation of working hours, to rest, to leisure, to periodic leaves with pay, to remuneration for public holidays as well as a healthy and safe work environment (labour rights).
Article 44/1 states that all persons have the right to a clean and healthy environment (environmental rights).
Article 89/8 states that government shall endeavor to protect and promote the health, welfare and living standards of the working population of the country (economic duty and objective).
Article 90/1 To the extent the country’s resources permit, policies shall aim to provide all Ethiopians access to public health and education, clean water, housing, food and social security (social duty and objective).
Article 92/1: Government shall endeavor to ensure that all Ethiopians live in a clean and healthy environment (environmental duty and objective).
These articles give rights to citizens and assign duties and objectives to the government. The Constitution states that all persons have the right to a clean and healthy environment, and the government has a duty to ensure that all Ethiopians live in a clean and healthy environment as far as it is able, which includes access to and use of clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Safeguarding the environment from any human-made damage is covered by Articles 92/2 and 92/4 which state that projects, investments or developments should not destroy and pollute the environment (water, air and soil).