The Splash Ethiopia team with MWA representatives
On March 27th 2018, the Splash team in Ethiopia was invited by the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) to attend a learning exchange meeting with other MWA member organizations in Addis Ababa. The Millennium Water Alliance was formed in 2003 by the leading US-based non-governmental organizations working in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal to, “reduce by half, the proportion of people without access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation,” by the year 2015. The MWA exists to offer sustainable solutions through advocacy, shared knowledge, and collaborative programming.
The opportunity to participate in a learning exchange with key WASH players in Addis Ababa was a very welcome invitation for Splash. We engage with MWA to share knowledge, move towards a national WASH in Schools (WinS) model customized for urban and rural areas, and generate political support for WinS across the political landscape of Ethiopia. With core member representatives from World Vision, Water Aid, IRC, MWA, Food for the Hungry, CARE, HELVETAS, and Catholic Relief Services in attendance, this was an exciting occasion for information sharing among the industry’s top leaders.
Meeting discussions were centered on WinS in urban settings, where, in the local context of Addis, the constitution mandates that every child has the right to having clean water and access to sanitation facilities at schools. However, this is not what the teams in Ethiopia are witnessing “on the ground”. Urban WinS lacks attention, therefore, MWA believes the combined efforts of different program implementers can bring a significant impact in improving urban WinS.
Representatives from member organizations shared their experiences implementing WinS (both rural and urban settings), and methods they have found most successful and challenges. Splash then shared our methods and learning from WinS in urban areas. The presentation included:
- Brief global overview of Splash
- Scope and methods for our work in Addis
- Information about our new handwashing and drinking stations
- Sustainability plans
- Challenges and lessons learned
- Progress and information about the collaborative work with CARE in Amhara
Splash’s Director of Ethiopia, Dawit Alemishet, reported that “the presentation went very well and Splash received heartfelt recognition from everyone for leading the urban WASH in schools in Addis Ababa, and for our innovative WASH solutions… all of the questions and feedback were very helpful. Let’s bring everyone’s effort together to have a meaningful and long-lasting impact in WASH.”
This sentiment was reinforced by MWA Program Director, Dr. Laura Brunson. Her closing remarks of the session reiterates the importance of collaboration and information sharing among WASH organizations. “We have a lot of work to do. We need to think about how we can do things differently and leverage this partnership to strengthen WASH solutions.”
Splash thanks MWA’s invitation to participate and the member organizations for their warm welcome. We look forward to future opportunities to interact and share in the future!