This workshop organised by WaterAid Ethiopia programme and held in Addis Ababa, brought together a range of stakeholders working in the WASH Sector in Ethiopia, to disseminate and discuss some of the emerging key findings from the Hidden Crisis Project. There was strong representation from research and academic institutions in Ethiopia, as well as government officials and NGOs, and there was significant discussion as to how the project research can as catalyst for further research in Ethiopia.
The workshop was opened by the WaterAid Ethiopia Country Director, Yaekob Metena. Several presentations were given during the day by some of the main UK and Ethiopian project researchers – providing and overview and insight to the project research, the methods, and the key findings to date. This included presentation of the newly published District Sustainability Assessment (DSA) Executive Summary that was conducted across the three project country as part of the research to provide insight to the district-level institutional factors affecting sustainability of rural boreholes fitted with handpumps.
WAE Country Director Yaekob Metena on the occasion said that:
The research findings enable actors to further understand the context and underlying factors that influence functionality of underground water points and other associated factors.
The Luwero study tour was a one day field trip organized by UPGro Hidden Crisis project in partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, as part of the pre-AfWA Congress and Exhibition Conference being held in Uganda 24-27 February 2020. Running under the title of “Rural Water Supply Functionality: Beyond Numbers” the study tour visited the Luwero District Water Office and two rural communities where the Hidden Crisis research team had undertaken some keyresearch.Twenty five officials attended the tour, bringing together a range of valuable expertise from Central Government, District Water Offices, Rural Water Supply practitioners, NGOs, international donors and researchers – stimulating rich discussion on rural water supply functionality.
Central to the day’s discussions were (i) how hand-pumped boreholes are commissioned, managed and maintained; (ii) the importance and impact which different functionality definitions have to assessing HPB functionality status; and, (iii) the vital role of HPB maintenance plays to long term functionality outcomes and service levels. The tour involved practical demonstrations at water points, detailed conservations with community members involved in the Hidden Crisis project research, as well as wider stakeholder group discussions.
The rich exchanges between participants gave greater insight to the uncertainty surrounding reporting meaningful functionality statistics, and the complexities involved in community management and maintenance, particularly when larger repairs are needed. Visiting a newly commissioned solar powered water supply visibly highlighted the challenge that low yielding basement aquifers have on the adoption of these emerging technologies. The pump could not sustain its abstraction for long before cutting out. Having such a wealth of experience on the tour, and community members who were willing to discuss honestly their experiences contributed to a highly memorable day.
The Executive Summary summarises the findings from the full DSA reports from Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda.
The DSAs were conducted to provide further insight into the district-level institutional factors that affect the sustainability of boreholes fitted with handpumps in Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda. These assessments complement the findings of other UPGro Hidden Crisis research outputs, such as the political economy analyses, the physical groundwater and hand pump assessments, and the social and community-level social science studies.