The African Sanitation Policy Guidelines will be of great value to Ethiopia as the country currently does not have an official policy.
IRC WASH Ethiopia staff recently attended the launching of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) by the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW). According to AMCOW, “the ASPG… are designed to provide guidance to African governments on the review, revision, and development of sanitation policies and strategies for their implementation.” IRC WASH Ethiopia has supported the development process at the invitation of the Ministry of Health, attending and providing input at a stakeholder consultation meeting and participating in a virtual consultation on the document.
The guidelines will be valuable to Ethiopia as the country does not currently have an official sanitation policy. It is hoped that these guidelines will be an entry point for developing a national framework, help improve coordination nationally, better track progress, and allow for comparisons regionally. Overall, progress in sanitation has not been as successful as water and it is hoped these guidelines refocus and re-energise stakeholders to engage in improving sanitation in Ethiopia.
IRC WASH Ethiopia looks forward to engaging with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy and other local partners to build upon the momentum these guidelines provide and give sanitation the attention it deserves. IRC WASH can also capitalise by continuing to advocate for sanitation financing, private sector engagement (with particular emphasis on women entrepreneurs), and taxation related to sanitation products.
This article is based on an interview with Michael Abera.