Ministry begins counting water and wash facilities

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To get an accurate picture of Ethiopia’s water infrastructure, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Energy (MoWIE) has started a count which will take a maximum of two months.
Pipelines that connect villages and houses, communal water, and water stores, and dams will be counted in the census.
The counting will cover all the nine regions and the two city administrations and will involve an estimated 600,000 water facilities and infrastructure.
An audit system, investment return, and software and manual administration drinking water institution will also be looked at during the counting.
To conduct the work, the ministry bought 4,475 tablet computers with USD 2.1 million and 4,000 counters and 500 coordinators are participating in the work.
Seleshi Bekele, Minister of MoWIE told journalists that the counting will be a good thing for all stakeholders who work on water related issues.
“From policymakers to regulators the counting will help us to know exactly where we work and I urge all stakeholders to collaborate with us to finish this task.’’
Seven years ago the Ministry conducted the same kind of counting but the result did not bring about what was expected.
Water crisis is one of the most serious global issues of our time. There are nearly 61 million people living without access to clean water. This means that about 7.5% of the global water crisis is in Ethiopia alone. Plus, nearly 65 million people live without access to improved sanitation, and approximately 27 million people still practice open defecation. The vast majority of those affected live in rural, hard to reach places.
Ethiopia’s future plans for economic growth call for expansion in irrigated agriculture, manufacturing, hydropower and municipal water supply – all of which depend on reliably available water. At the same time, Ethiopia’s population is set to nearly double by 2050, increasing the country’s overall thirst. This demand for water is clustered in cities, which are home today to nearly 20 percent of Ethiopians, compared to only 6 percent in 1960. Historically, Ethiopia’s economic prosperity has been heavily driven by rainfall and water availability. Recent periods of GDP growth and poverty reduction also coincided with periods of more reliable rainfall and greater public investment. In contrast, previous periods of drought have severely constrained economic growth and exacerbated food insecurity. Given the country’s historically highly variable rainfall patterns, the unreliability of rainfall has played a significant role in Ethiopia’s development — and the health and growth of its children. As of 2014, 40.4 percent of children under age five suffered from stunting. Increased water scarcity decreases crop yields, which causes food insecurity and nutritional shortcomings in the crucial early years of children.