In Ethiopia close to 150 participants from the federal Ministry of Water and Energy, regional bureaus of water, health, agriculture and education, NGOs working in the water sector such as RiPPLE, UNICEF, the World Bank and other funding agencies as well as contractors and consultants in the water sector gathered in the capital of the Tigray Regional State, Mekelle in northern Ethiopia.
In his opening remarks the minister Alemayehu Tegenu said the Ethiopian government has performed well in the strategic use of water over the past 21 years. He added the country is endowed with over 122 billion cubic meter of surface water potential and over 40 billion cubic meters of ground water resources. According to the minister it was in a bid to utilize these resources that Ethiopia embarked on the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) water sector being the major component.
The three day long high-level annual sector review workshop on the water sector organized by the Ministry of Water and Energy took time to have a hearing on performance reports of the Ministry, its plan for the current fiscal year followed by discussion by participants.
Issues and challenges on WASH as well as on irrigation development at national level have been discussed upon by participants that were presided over by minister Alemayehu Tegenu.
The national workshop has also allotted enough time for all regional governments to present their performances and plans in the water sector and respond to questions forwarded by participants.
The closing day of the national review meeting was to come with big surprise for all actors in the WaSH sector.
The minister of Water and Energy announced that they plan to officially avail the National WASH Inventory data in few months time. He declared that the project which is being run by his ministry is in its final phase. Officials from the ministry and the consultants working on the National WASH inventory made presentations that stirred lively deliberations on the results of the National WASH Inventory. Participants have also congratulated the ministry for conducting and finalizing the long awaited study which will be useful for development planning and engagement in the country.
The workshop was concluded by adopting a seven point resolution on further strengthening developments in the water sector in line with the country‚Äôs overall development strategy.
As a key actor and resource center and knowledge management unit for WASH and related sectors in Ethiopia, RiPPLE has taken the responsibility of documenting, publishing and disseminating the proceedings of this national workshop.
Solomon Kebede is Media and Communications Officer at RiPPLE