Hintalo Wajirat and Emba Alage WASH Project

The project is located in Hintalo Wajirat and Emba Alaje weredas of southeast & southern zones of TigrayNationalRegionalState. Lack of access to safe and adequate water supply and problem of sanitation facilities are the most serious problems in these weredas and especially in the target Tabias. Due to these realities, EOC DICAC designed WASH project to change the situation with the objective of improving the quality of life and productivity of the target people in a sustainable manner. The project period is from July 2010 up to March 2013.

The community, EOC-DICAC, WaterAid and the government are the four main actors who are involved in every stage of the project implementation. The major activities designed among others include creating access to safe and adequate water supply, promoting health and hygiene education, improving sanitation facilities, capacity building of the community, empowering women and render support for improving natural resources management of the target project Tabias.  The project has implemented many activities in the last two years which contribute for the improvement of lives and livelihoods of the target communities in the project intervention areas. Thus, the project is generally successful in attaining its intended objectives. During the last two years all planned activities were accomplished and addressed 11,280 and 6010 users in potable water supply and sanitation services respectively. Besides, special attention was given to address the marginalized people in every activity of the project.

In this reporting period, the project planned to implement 12 springs and 11 gravity water supply systems development and 9 hand dug wells construction for water supply and to construct 3 VIPL with two separate blocks for girls and boys with each six rooms and CLTSH approach was triggered for 754 households to build their own traditional pit latrines with hand washing facilities and to create 7 Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages. Moreover, the project planned to rehabilitate 2 spring development, 2 gravity water supply systems and 2 hand-dug wells that are initially built by other stakeholders. The project has accomplished the development of  10 springs, 11 gravity water supply schemes and 7 hand dug well as well as rehabilitation 6 water supply schemes. Besides, water quality tests have conducted for 34 water supply schemes which are both new and rehabilitated.  Each gravity water supply and spring development schemes have structures like capped spring source, reservoir (night storage), pipe laying (1 to 4 kms length), water points, washing basins and all are inclusive and accessible to children and disabled people.

To promote institutional WASH, two blocks of VIPL for both sexes which is inclusive were constructed. In the reporting period, using CLTSH approach 754 households were triggered to build their own traditional pit latrines with hand washing facilities and to create ODF villages. As a result 754 pit latrines with hand washing facilities were constructed and 7 Villages become ODF.  WatSan committees were established for the developed water supply schemes and 6 WatSan committee members (of which 4 are women) and 3 CHPs (all are women) from each water supply scheme have got theoretical and practical training on water management and proper handling. The user numbers for the reporting period were 10,250 users for safe water supply and 12,280 for sanitation and 8750 for hygiene. High user community participation was observed in the reporting period. This helps us for creating sense of ownership which is crucial for sustainability and proper management. Project Monitoring and follow up has been conducted on quarterly basis by the project together with wereda line offices, local government leaders, community and Water Resources Development Department of EOC-DICAC.

More than 2.5 km soil and water conservation measures were constructed by community free labor contribution in the reporting period to conserve the soil and water for better discharge of water supply.  The project has effectively and efficiently utilized 95% of the budget allocated for the reporting period.

The financial performance

The financial performance of the physical year was good and most of the project activities planned was implemented. The cost of materials and labor was increasing from time to time.  EOC-DICAC has tried all its best for the implementation the activities planned with the time frame by increasing the communities’ participation and mobilization of resources from other projects.

Proposal preparation

In the reporting period the department has prepared different project proposals in the WASH sector and was submitted to potential funding partners. The following proposals were prepared and submitted to Water Aid, USAID, Intermon Oxfam, EU and Others

  1. Tenna three kebeles WASH project proposal submitted to Intermon Oxfam (138, 887.75 Euro or 3,194,418.25 Birr)
  2. Sanitation facilities improvement for peri urban towns of Sebeta, Dukem and Burayu in selected schools and market places prepared with SNV as a partner and submitted to EU Water and Sanitation facilities call for proposal (1,590,288 Euro).
  3. Concept Note for Dembia Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion and Environment protection Project, AmharaRegionalState, submitted to Water Aid Ethiopia for DFID funding (17,197,670 Birr).
  4. Concept Note for Hintalo Wajirat & Emba Alaje Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion and Environment protection Project, TigrayRegionalState, submitted to Water Aid Ethiopia for DFID funding (17,178,570 Birr)
  5. Concept note on Promotion of the Millennium Development goals: Sanitation improvement in Lalibela and Kulbi towns of Ethiopia. Submitted to EU Promotion of the Millennium Development goals: Sanitation in poor peri-urban and urban areas in ACP countries (1.4 million Euro or 32.2 million Birr).
  6. Improve access and sustainable use of water supply; sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service delivery through building the capacities of local actors in six weredas of North Gonder and South Tigray Zone, a concept note submitted to USAID call for proposal(11,146,190 Birr).
  7. Increasing sustainable access to WASH and health services through religious representatives’ joint awareness effort in two weredas of Arsi Zone Oromia Regional State. Concept note prepared in partnership with EIFDDA submitted to USAID call for proposal (4,124,629 Birr).
  8. Water Supply and Sanitation project proposal for Yigem Village, Menz Mamamidir wereda, North Shoa Zone, Amhara Region( 1,071,661.61 Birr).
  9. Water supply and sanitation project proposal for four villages in Sululta wereda submitted to Water4Ethiopia( 280,750 Birr)
  10. Final project proposal for Dembia Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion and Environment protection Project, AmharaRegionalState, submitted to Water Aid Ethiopia for DFID funding (15,559,438 Birr).
  11. Final project proposal  for Hintalo Wajirat & Emba Alaje Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion and Environment protection Project, TigrayRegionalState, submitted to Water Aid Ethiopia for DFID funding (17,178,570 Birr)

Strengths, weaknesses, lessons learnt and challenges

Contributions towards the achievements of the project goal 

The intended project activities were implemented as planned and beyond in some of the project activities as indicated in the physical performance. The contribution of the project outputs to the project overall goal is substantial. The incidence of water borne and poor sanitation related diseases and complications have been reduced substantially. As a result number of people visiting health centers and costs related to medication per household level is reduced to a great extent. This is witnessed by data from health centers and schools. Apart from the communities’ health situation, the project outputs have reduced the time for fetching water from unprotected water sources and queuing time. This situation increases women and children participation in other household activities and agricultural practices. Having safe and adequate water has a positive effect in human and animal health.  School attendance by children especially girls has been improved from time to time in the target project kebeles and school drop out is also reduced as a result of water supply schemes development in their nearby villages. . 

Moreover, the communities awareness on proper hygiene and sanitation practices have been increased and most of the user households have their own pit latrines and waste disposal pits.  The practice of hand washing after critical times and open defecation is improving and their attitude towards personal hygiene and environmental sanitation is improving from time to time. The user communities concern on managing the project outputs to use on a sustainable manner is upgrading and the users have prepared their own bylaws.  

Strengths to ensure sustainability 


Participatory project implementation and capacity building are the key factors for ensuring project sustainability after implementation and withdrawal of the project implementer. To ensure sustainability the projects have participated all concerned government stakeholders and user communities in all the process of project implementation starting from problem identification and planning to create sense of ownership. Moreover, the capacity building strategies conducted and the linkages developed between wereda stakeholders and user communities via the WatSan committees and hygiene promoters are key steps taken on the issue of sustainability. Appropriate hand tools and technical training were given to the users to run and shoulder their responsibilities for sustainable operation and management of project outputs. Furthermore, the WaSH projects assisted the user communities to develop their bylaws based on the local culture and social norms for a better management of the developed water supply schemes. The water fee was determined by the users to be collected to be used for minor repair and maintenance and purchase of spare parts as required. 

The projects have involved kebele health extension workers in the implementation of the project activities so as to have a stake with the user community WatSan and hygiene promoter for a better and efficient information exchange so as to use the project outputs on a sustainable manner.  The user communities were involved in all stages of the project implementation process.  Their participation in labor and local materials were outstanding. The users were also constructed their own pit latrines and refuse disposal pits with the assistance of the project staff, hygiene promoters and kebele health extension workers.  The user communities’ participation in selection of site, different committee members and capacity building participants was encouraging.


The full participation of user communities and concerned stakeholders and making the project transparent with annual project budget and implementation modalities create an enabling environment for their accountability and trust among the implementer, the community and government offices. The stakeholders have developed mutual trust. Therefore, the project believed that it has developed strong accountability. It is highly responsible and transparent to the stakeholders and partners.  
The guiding principles of the project implementation are emanated from the principles of EOC-DICAC and WaterAid Ethiopia. EOC-DICAC follows the principles of human dignity, partnership, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency, transparency, gender sensitivity, sustainability, tolerance and addressing the marginalized segments of the community. Therefore, the project has been implemented with these principles and using participatory approach by incorporation all the needs and interests of the user communities and the local stakeholders. 

Equity and Inclusion

Equity and inclusion was considered in all WASH interventions to be more accessible, inclusive and user-friendly to benefit every user in the community, including economically poor, old people, children, women, disabled and those who are ill. It is done by making the designs inclusive at the planning stage. But sometimes due to weak awareness, the projects face some problems like the disabled people may not want to be exposed and forced to get information about their needs from immediate relatives who live with them. Moreover, due to social & cultural barriers women do not like to play active role in WaSH committee members. To solve the problem of less involvement of women in WatSan committee and management of WASH interventions is being done in collaboration with concerned government stakeholders by the creation of more awareness.


Local government offices specially Water and Health offices are actively involved for the implementation of project activities. Planning of project activities and trainings are given jointly. During the project design, consultation with user community was undertaken in order to confirm their need, commitment and role to support the project implementation process. 

In this regard, EOC-DICAC has created a good partnership with the users’ community and local government stakeholders in shouldering duties and responsibilities in the implementation of the project activities with a common and mutual understanding. Each project has a memorandum of understanding with all concerned parties to appropriately carry out the planned project activities.  The user communities and the concerned wereda level government stakeholders are playing a major role in sustaining the project outputs that were handed over to the user communities.  

The most simple and low cost technologies were selected and used to make sure that user communities and local institutions can handle for a reliable and sufficient use by the users as well as to operate and maintain the water supply schemes without frequent external support. Moreover, proper awareness was done to create ownership feeling by the user communities for a sustainable use. The WatSan committees are also responsible to inform and consult the wereda concerned stakeholders for backstopping and advices that the communities need in the management of the water supply schemes.  The wereda water resource office is responsible for addressing the problems coming from the WatSan committees related to water supply schemes developed for proper use and management. 

Integration (Water, sanitation and hygiene)

To prevent most communicable diseases, EOC-DICAC has implemented activities in an integrated manner i.e. water supply, sanitation and hygiene as one package. The users get the three services simultaneously. Otherwise, the intended objective would not be realized. If EOC-DICAC did not integrate them and miss one among the three, it couldn’t be able to improve the health status and increase productivity. Therefore, the projects are implementing WaSH activities in an integrated manner in a given locality. 
The challenge faced in the implementation process for integrating the three components of WaSH was that the user communities prefer to build and use only water supply schemes since water is being their priority than sanitation and hygiene. The tradition of hand washing after critical times is going gradually and yet it is not well practiced by the majority of user communities.

Monitoring and evaluation

Regular monitoring has been conducted by EOC-DICAC head office technical and financial staff members. Moreover, a regular field level monitoring and evaluation of the project was done by the respective wereda offices. Project performance reports are prepared on monthly, quarterly, biannual and annual basis and communicated with the respective government stakeholders and funding partners. Review meeting on annual basis with the community members and the wereda government stakeholders is conducted which is among the monitoring and evaluation conducted in the project life.  The regular feedbacks from this monitoring and evaluation have helped EOC-DICAC for a better and efficient implementation of WASH projects. Moreover, field level visit made by the funding partner also helped for the improvement of WASH projects implementation. 

Lessons learnt

EOC-DICAC has learnt a lot in WASH projects implementation. The planning of project activities with the government stakeholders and annual review of the project implementation has helped to ensure quality and efficiency of project activities implementation. The participatory approach that was used has increased the ownership feeling and concern of the user communities. 

As a result the users’ participation was very positive and contributed more than expectation. The concern they have developed and the bylaws they developed also ensure project outputs sustainability. 

The overlap of government activities with the time of project activities implementation especially in this year was one of the lessons that we have learnt for future project activities planning and timing. EOC-DICAC learnt more from the community in the process of WASH project activities implementation.

The local knowledge that the communities have increased the project staff learning capacity and widened their thinking in the implementation of planned project activities. Our presence in the remotest parts of the country and meetings and communications that we made with the communities created more transparency, willingness and participation of the communities and local stakeholders in project design and implementation of WASH project activities. The projects incorporate lessons learnt from the community in new project designs. Moreover, integrated water resource management (IWRM) approaches have to be incorporated with all water supply and sanitation activities to make the project more effective and sustainable. Watershed management is being part and parcel of WASH projects of EOC-DICAC. 


  • Inflation of the Ethiopian Birr and high cost of technical labor and industrial materials
  • Global economic crisis hinders the flow of resources for WaSH projects
  • Technical staff turnover and Donor fatigue for resources
  • Overlap of project activities implementation with government soil and water conservation programs for mobilizing the beneficiary communities for their contribution and local level capacity building.

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