By María Florencia Rieiro, Independent WASH Consultant
The annual Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) is the most important WASH sector event in Ethiopia with over 300 participants. The first WASH MSF was conducted in 2006 under the auspices of the European Union Water Initiative for WASH sector coordination. The Government Ethiopia’s WASH organisations (education, finance, health and water) took over the WASH sector coordination process later on and, since then, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has led the National WASH Steering Committee and the organisation of the MSF.
2019 marked the 10th MSF for WASH and the 2nd MSF for the Joint WASH-WRM. The event was held in Addis Ababa on 26th-27th November under the theme “Accelerating integrated, inclusive, sustainable and quality WASH services and water resources management for achieving the SDGs”. Among the WASH topics discuss, it is relevant to highlight equity, inclusion and accessibility in WASH, WASH marketing, WASH financing gaps and financing and equity, quality in WASH, sustainability in WASH, climate-resilient water safety planning and WASH sector institutional capacity building. The MSF 10 also comprised the launch of Ethiopia’s Open Defecation Free Campaign (2020-24).
The MSF 10 full proceedings present the main highlights of the two days event together with the 12 priority undertakings for the year 2020. From the WASH side, the priority undertakings for 2020 are the following ones:
- Improve the institutional capacity to deliver WASH services.
- Increase the WASH sector financing.
- Improve the business climate for the private sector and improve the private sector’s capacity to deliver WASH services.
- Develop robust functional planning, monitoring, and a management information system for WASH.
- Develop rollout national strategies and the ODF campaign 2024 to eliminate open defecation (and urination) in rural and urban areas, and to improve the access to safe sanitation with dignity.