Ethiopia: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facts

The Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) is a document by the government of Ethiopia highlighting an all-encompassing vision of an Ethiopa that rises to join the rank of the world’s middle income countries over the next 15-20 years and a commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Within that context the government has made a good progress in expanding access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and hygiene initiatives in recent years.


•  Provide access to improved water sources to 98.5 % of the population by 2015 (98 % to the rural and 100 % to the urban population) and 100% of sanitation.

•  Establish self-supply as a service delivery mechanism for rural water within the national WASH programme – and alongside community-managed approaches – in order to reach more than 30% citizens without safe water access

•  Reduce the non-functionality of schemes from 20% in 2010 to 10% in 2015

Ethiopia’s government capital budget expenditure for the water sector grew from 2.6 billion Birr to 3.4 billion Birr between 2007/08 and 2008/09, a 31% growth rate in nominal terms, according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED). However, its share from total government expenditure for poverty targeted sectors that include education, health, agriculture, and road was unchanged over the past five years remaining at just about 6% of the total expenditure.

The Facts

Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of coverage for improved water and sanitation in the world.

•  Just over 54 per cent of households have access to an improved source of drinking water, with a higher proportion among urban households (75%) and among rural households (49%)

•  Among rural households 57 % lack  access to an improved sanitation facilities.

•  Open defecation is the norm for 46%  of Ethiopia’s population.

•  According to Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) 2012 update, the proportion of the population having access to improved and unimproved sanitation facilities stands at 54 % (21% improved and 33 % unimproved).

•  Nearly 39 million Ethiopians – most of them in rural areas don’t have access to safe water.

•   Nearly 48 million lack access to basic sanitation.


Sources: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; Ethiopia Demographic and health survey 2011

UNICEF 2012 progress Report: Rapid progress in child survival.

Photo – Water Aid

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