People of the Awash River

WaterPricing: for inclusive and sustainable growth

Near Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, a river rises: the Awash River. It winds 1,250 kilometers through Eastern Ethiopia, where it discharges into several lakes near Djibouti. The river is a lifeline for millions of people. They depend on the Awash River for their drinking water, their company, their household and their environment.

A silent disaster is taking place along the Awash River. More and more water is being drained off for households, agriculture and industry, reducing water resources. By dumping waste and sewage water, the Awash has become the most polluted river in Ethiopia. A river that could feed an enormous area is getting polluted and drying up due to lack of good management. This has major consequences for the people along the Awash River.

Therefore Woord en Daad and five partners will collaborate to improve the management of water resources for more efficient and equitable water use in the sub-basin.

> Discover the project on the interactive map

Four work packages:

Smart monitoring

Measuring equipment is installed in the river to collect data about the water level, quality and the amount of water that is drained. Civil servants are trained to work with this equipment and data.

Taxation and licensing

By introducing a tax system, those that are well-off will pay for water. If water is no longer free, it will be rewarded to use less water and money will be made available to improve the river’s management

Collect and reuse

Special attention is paid to the most vulnerable people around the river. With them, efforts are made to reduce water consumption and retain and reuse water via for example rainwater collection.

Efficient irrigation

Farmers are organized in “water user organizations” to strengthen their knowledge and skills. Farmers learn how to irrigate efficiently.

The partnership:

Woord en Daad works together in this project with six parties. Both companies and government agencies are involved to turn the project into a functioning whole. Two Ethiopian government agencies, Awash Basin Authority (AwBA) and OMEB, are supported in implementing taxation and water management. Two companies (Eijkelkamp and VNGI) use innovative techniques to make possible implementing taxation and monitoring water use and water quality. The Dutch Water Authorities (DWA) is a knowledge partner. Woord en Daad manages WaterPricing.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also involved in this project and triples every euro.

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