3.5 Regulation of WASH services

In addition to the service providers, there are also important stakeholders who regulate and control the services they deliver. Their major role is to ensure that the quality and quantity of the service provided by WASH facilities complies with existing standards for urban communities in Ethiopia. They also work towards equity of access, trying to ensure fair distribution of facilities and services to all parts of the urban population.

Table 3.1 Roles of key stakeholders in WASH regulation.
Regional Water Bureau and Woreda Water DeskRegional Health Bureau and Woreda Health OfficeMunicipality

Proclamations and legislation to improve service provision by utilities

Legalisation of water utility enterprises or companies

Inspection of water supply facilities, services and standards

Registration and licensing of health professionals

Inspection of healthcare services and standards

Setting regulations, directives and guidelines

Not applicable
Woreda (works with regional counterparts)

Water quantity, water quality assurance

Construction quality assurance during expansion or upgrade of facilities

Water quality inspection

Healthcare service inspection

Sanitary service inspection

Quality and coverage of waste management and disposal services

Land development planning to accommodate WASH facility needs

Construction quality assurance

Table 3.1 summarises some of the important roles in regulating WASH services in urban areas. Notice that all the stakeholders in this table are government institutions. It is the duty and responsibility of the government structure to ensure that adequate, safe and environmentally friendly services are provided to communities.

The responsibility for regulating WASH services is decentralised down to the woreda level, empowering local government administrators to assure the quality and quantity of service provided to communities.

  • Name the key government offices at woreda level that are responsible for regulating WASH services. Refer to Table 3.1 and explain the roles of each.

  • The answers are as follows:

    • Woreda Water Desk – confirms the quality and quantity of water supply, in collaboration with regional counterparts.
    • Health Office – inspects water quality and healthcare services.
    • Municipalities – include or certify WASH facilities location in town-wide land development plans, as well as the quality and coverage of waste management and disposal services.

3.4 WASH service provision for low-income communities

Summary of Study Session 3