1.6 Policies, strategies and programmes
There are several national policies, strategies and programmes that are relevant to improving sanitation and hygiene in Ethiopia. Key policies are:
- The Health Policy (1993) which stresses that environmental health, occupational health and safeguarding the environment are priority issues.
- The Environmental Policy (1997) which promotes the use of renewable resources and recycling, and includes specific policies for industrial waste.
- The Water Resources Management Policy (1999) which describes the conservation, exploitation, use and protection of water resources.
These policies are reinforced by proclamations such as the Public Health Proclamation No. 200/2000, the Ethiopia Water Resources Management Proclamation No. 4/1995, and the Proclamation for the Establishment of the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority 2002. These proclamations provide support for regions, zones and woredas to develop a regulatory framework for their activity in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.
The National Hygiene and Sanitation Strategy of 2005 (MoH, 2005) sets out a ‘sanitation vision’ for Ethiopia that is:
100% adoption of improved (household and institutional) sanitation and hygiene by each community which will contribute to better health, a safer, cleaner environment, and the socio-economic development of the country.
The goal of 100% access to basic sanitation has been carried forward to other policies and programmes, and is one of the targets of the new One WASH National Programme. (‘WASH’ stands for ‘water, sanitation and hygiene’.) The One WASH National Programme (OWNP), as the name suggests, is a single programme that combines the three interlinked components. 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 OWNP is unlike previous WASH programmes because it takes a sector-wide approach and involves the federal ministries of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Health, Education, and 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.
In comparison with the WASH sector, there are fewer policies and regulations relevant to solid waste. The Solid Waste Management Proclamation of 2007 has the objective to ‘enhance at all levels capacities to prevent the possible adverse impacts while creating economically and socially beneficial assets out of solid waste’ (FDRE, 2007). It sets out the obligation for urban administrations to create the right conditions to promote investment in solid waste management services and ensure the participation of local communities in the process of designing and implementing their solid waste management plans. It also sets out requirements for the supply and management of specific types of waste, including glass, tin cans, plastic bags, used tyres, food-related waste, household waste, and construction and demolition waste.