South-South Cooperation: Brazil shares models for universal access to water and sanitation services in urban Ethiopia

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Opening session of the two-day seminar in Brasilia, Ministry of Cities. ©UNICEF

Brasilia, 14 October 2014. – Within the framework of  the Brazil–UNICEF Trilateral South–South Cooperation Programme, the Government of Brazil hosted a high-level mission of the Government of Ethiopia between the 15th and the 20th of September. The objective of the mission was to get insights on how Brazil has advanced in providing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in urban areas, which has reduced child mortality significantly.

Ethiopia is currently urbanizing at a 6 per cent rate per annum and is predicted to become one of the most populous urban nations in Africa by 2050. Thus, the Ethiopian Government is expected to face complex challenges in terms of expanding access and improving quality of WASH services for its growing urban population, especially for the most vulnerable groups. Through the visit, Ethiopia is keen to learn from Brazil, a country that has faced rapid urbanization over the last 50 years.

The delegation was composed by high-level government officials from Ethiopia, including Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of Health, Mr. Kebede Gerba Gemosa, State Minister of Water and Energy, and Mr. Wanna Wake, General Director of the Water Resources Development Fund and Member of the Parliament. In addition the mission included representatives from the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction; Oromia Water, Mines and Energy Bureau; Amhara Water Resources Development Bureau; Water Resources Development Fund; Tigray Water Resources Bureau;  Somali Water Resources Development Bureau and World  Vision Ethiopia as well as Samuel Godfrey, WASH Section Chief, and Michele Paba, Urban WASH Manager of UNICEF Ethiopia.

The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations, through the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation and the Brazilian Ministries responsible for the planning and implementation of the national WASH policy (namely, the Ministry of Cities, the Ministry of Health through the National Health Foundation, the Ministry of National Integration, the Ministry of Environment and the National Water Agency)  worked together with UNICEF to prepare the agenda for the visit, which included  high-level meetings and field visits, in order to provide  the Ethiopian Delegation with an overview of the water and sewage systems in Brazil at the national, state  and municipal levels.

The opening session of the two-day seminar, which took place in Brasilia from 15th to 16th September, was inaugurated by Senior officials of the Brazilian Government, the UNICEF representative in Brazil and DFID Brazil Country Office Manager. The session focused on exchanging ideas on how both the Ethiopian and Brazilian WASH sectors are structured.

After the seminar, field visits were conducted in Fortaleza (capital of the Northeastern State of Ceará) and surrounding municipalities, including Sobral and Santana, where the Ethiopian Delegation was  warmly greeted by the Mayors and the community, who opened their homes to show the delegation how the water and sewage systems are installed at the household level as well as how they benefit each citizen.

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Field visit to Storm Water Cisterns in a rural community of the Ceará State. @UNICEF

On the last day of the mission, the delegation visited the water treatment plant of the Water and Sewage Company of the State of Ceará (CAGECE), and met with its President, who explained the state’s strategy for providing services through public-private partnerships. This meeting was followed by a presentation and discussion with the State Regulatory Agency for these services.

The mission was accompanied by Mr. Marcelo Lelis, Project Manager of the National Secretariat of Environmental Sanitation of the Ministry of Cities, and Ms. Michelle Correia, Coordinator of Technical Cooperation of the National Health Foundation of the Ministry of Health, and in Fortaleza by the Superintendent of National Health Foundation, Mr. Regino Antônio de Pinho Filho, besides other technicians who were available to assist the delegation and answer technical questions at all times.

As concrete results, by the end of the mission, the representatives of the Ethiopian Government identified key areas in which technical assistance from the Government of Brazil would benefit Ethiopia, by sharing knowledge and building capacities of policy makers, managers  and technicians on how to develop WASH integrated policy, implement management models  and regulatory schemes for service provision, drawing on Brazilian models like the Integrated Rural Sanitation System  (SISAR) and the social tariffs.

As pointed out by His Excellency Ato Kebede Gerba, State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Ethiopia, “Brazil is a learning center for urban water and sanitation.”

Dr. Samuel Godfrey from UNICEF Ethiopia further noted that “Brazil offers a good learning ground for African nations such as Ethiopia, as its recent developments are understandable and obtainable in Africa’s emerging economies.”

Water and Energy Nexus: Workshop discusses the linkages of water and energy on World Water Day (WWD 2014)

By Demissew Bizuwerk

State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy H. E Ato Kebede Gerba delivering a keynote speech on World Water Day at Desalegn Hotel Addis Ababa.
State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy H. E Ato Kebede Gerba delivering a keynote speech on World Water Day. The Sate Minister highlighted that the Government of Ethiopia is facilitating the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bring ministries and sectors, leading the way to interlinked energy security and sustainable water use. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Bizuwerk

In commemoration of World Water Day (WWD) 2014, a workshop discussed the linkages of water and energy on 21 March 2014 at Desalegn Hotel Addis Ababa. Participants from the Ministry of Water Irrigation and Energy, UNICEF, Hilton Foundation, and other stakeholders also drew attention on addressing inequities, for people who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive with little access to sufficient food, safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, and energy services.

State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy H. E Ato Kebede Gerba said, “The Government of Ethiopia aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bring together ministries and sectors, leading the way to inter-linked energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy”. He also noted that Ethiopia is working hard towards achieving its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for water and irrigation sector. According to the GTP plan, a household in the rural area, has to have a supply of about 15 liters of safe water per person per day in 1.5 km radius.

Dr Samuel Godfrey’s presentation of the 2014 World Water Development Report (WWDR)
Dr Samuel Godfrey’s presentation of the 2014 World Water Development Report (WWDR) stressed that those who lack access to improved water sources and sanitation are often the same people who also lack access to energy. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Bizuwerk

UNICEF Ethiopia Chief of Water and Environmental Sanitation, Dr Samuel Godfrey, presents the highlights of the UN flagship report on water: 2014 World Water Development Report (WWDR). The report provides a detailed analysis of the complex inter-linkages between water and energy in the context of sustainable development.  According to the report, more than 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity, and nearly 2.6 billion use solid fuels (mainly biomass) for cooking. In addition, those who lack access to improved water sources and sanitation are often the same people who also lack access to energy.

The 2014 WWD celebration has the objective of raising awareness on the relationship between water and energy. Moreover, improving water and sanitation as well as conservation and proper use of water is vital for life.

WWD has been observed globally since 1993 and in Ethiopia since 1994. The UN General Assembly in 1992 declared March 22 as “World Day for Water” following its environmental and development conference held in Rio de Janeiro, also known as the Rio declaration on Environment and Development.

International Women’s Day 2014 – Ethiopia

Here are list of events, that we are aware of, happening for the International Women’s Day 2014 in Ethiopia.

Please add your events in the comments and we will feature them in this blog!

Friday, March 7th 2014: A panel discussion entitled ‘Equality for Women is Progress for All: Celebrating Women’s achievements in Ethiopia’


Jointly organized by the UN Communication Group and Addis Ababa University Gender Office. The event’s overall objective is to engage young women and men from various faculties of Addis Ababa University in an interactive dialogue as a way of leading social transformation and change.

Panelists are: Ms. Aster Zaoude (Gender Practioner), Ms. Birtukan Gebregzi (Deputy President, Enat Bank), Ms. Chachi Tadesse (Musician & Children’s Activist), Ms. Desta Hagos (Pioneer Artist/Painter), Ms. Ingidaye Eshete (Chair, Ethiopian Women Entrepreneurs Association), Ms. Selamawit Adugna (Youth Representative), Ms. Zenaye Tadesse (Managing Director, Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association) and Moderator Ms Tsedale Lemma (Editor-in-Chief at Addis Standard)

Time & Date: 09:00 – 11:30am; Friday, 7th March 2014

Venue: Eshetu Chole Hall, Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE Campus), Addis Ababa University

Friday March 7th 2014: International Women’s Day ‘‘Stand-Alone Goal on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Post 2015 Agenda”

Location: New Africa Union Complex, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Saturday March 8th 2014: International Women’s Day The status of women in Ethiopia and Africa today

womens day allianze

Women NGO bazaar, Debates, art exhibition, movie screening, music performance, drama …

Time & Date: 09:00 – 18:00; Saturday March 8th 2014

Location: Alliance éthio-française d’Addis-Abeba

Entrance: Free

Sunday March 9th 2014: The 11th edition of the annual women only run

‘Choice Women First’ 5km Run is set to take place on Sunday 9 March 2014. 10,000 women and girls are expected to take part in this year’s race. Please go to registration page for information on registration.

The first race was held in May 2004 in light of recognizing the achievements of Ethiopia’s great female athletes and to support the broader changes regarding the role of women in Ethiopia’s economic and social life.

Since then the race has been promoting key messages about women and has become a celebration of the overall contribution of women in our country’s development.

This year the race promotes messages including

“Family Planning with Choice” – DK Ethiopia

“A Prosperous & Peaceful Life for All: The Future We Want” – UN Ethiopia

“Because I am a Girl” – Plan International Ethiopia

International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction 2013

By Demissew Bizuwork

International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction was marked in Ethiopia with the theme “including persons with disabilities in disaster reduction” on the 11 October 2013. Commemorating the day an event which was organized by the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS), the Ministry of Agriculture and partner organizations, discussed relevant policy and legal frameworks, approaches, as well as good practices related with disaster and disability.

Sylvie Chamois welcomes a visitor to the UNICEF stand at International Disaster Risk Reduction Day Ethiopia
Sylvie Chamois welcomes a visitor to the UNICEF stand at International Disaster Risk Reduction Day Ethiopia ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

As a side event was an exhibition in which UNICEF and other partners participated. UNICEF took the opportunity to showcase the role of its nutrition programme in reducing disaster risks. UNICEF promotes and protects the nutritional status of children and mothers in emergency prone country such as Ethiopia to ensure better resilience and faster recovery.