restoring watersupply system functionality in Tigray, Ethiopia


People may use their source of water for irrigation, household or drinking water purposes. In Tigray approximately 70% of the water schemes are hand dug wells or shallow wells. In the cause of time the water schemes can become non-functional. The Tigray region has the second highest rate of non-functionality in Ethiopia: 32.9%.

The causes of non-functionality are partly technical (44%), but partly also due to a lack of (financial) management, loss of confidence of WASHCOs (committees responsible for operation and maintenance of the water supply system)  in maintaining systems, lack of government support  (27%) and environmental issues (ground water depletion) (17%). 

Project Objective          

In the project ‘restoring water system functionality’ SNV, Woord&Daad and the Huisman Foundation want to  create the conditions for water systems in four Woredas in Tigray to become/stay functional, well-maintained, sustainable and brought to scale. These woredas are: Enderta, Hintalo-Wejerat, Saharti Samre and Dogaa Temben woredas, in the South Eastern zone of Tigray. Improving sustainable access to clean and safe water will contribute to the improved health of the rural households in these woredas. Approximately 72.000 people will benefit.


The local implementer is SNV Ethiopia. In this project we will set up  four private local service providers that repair and maintain water systems on a commercial basis. About 480 WASHCOs will acquire sufficient capacity to operate and maintain their water schemes, cover their O&M costs from water users' fees and build up sufficient financial reserves to deal with unexpected repairs. The Woreda Water Offices will be capacitated to exercise quality control over water maintenance provision, water quality monitoring and surveillance. The regional Tigray Water Resources Bureau will be assisted to formulate and implement operational policies to increase functionality of water systems and to guarantee sufficient stock of the most required spare parts as close to the communities as possible. In this project we want to validate the interplay between interplay between private service providers, communities and government structures and apply this model at larger scale.

Project budget and contribution Huisman Foundation

The project started on the 1st of January 2015 and will take 2 years. The project budget is € 349.364 and is fully covered by Woord&Daad and the Huisman Foundation (€ 35.000). 72.000 people will benefit from the project.


Click on the following link to find more information about our project on restoring watersupply system functionality in Tigray, Ethiopia. project document restoring watersupply system functionality