Small towns have often been neglected in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) research, where cities and rural areas tend to be the main focus. There is now a growing need to better understand WASH provision in small towns, and how to deliver universal access to safe water that is financially sustainable and resilient to climate variability.
Wukro is a small town of 43,000 people located in the drought-prone highlands of Tigray region, Ethiopia. The town is benefitting the ONEWASH Plus programme funded by the UK Department for International Development and implemented by the Government of Ethiopia and UNICEF. New groundwater sources are being tapped, and water storage and distribution infrastructure are being upgraded and extended. However, little is known about the capacity of the groundwater system to sustainably provide water to the town, given its growing population, water demand changes, industrial development and climatic variability.
We are studying the impact of the ONEWASH Plus programme on water security for people living in Wukro. The research will provide evidence on the distributional impacts of urban water supplies, and the role climate-resilient urban WASH can have in reducing poverty and inequalities.
We are working with government and development agencies to ensure that water supply and water resources are more integrated in policy and practice.
Where will you get your water today? September 2016
Korzenevica, M., Grasham, C., Johnson, Z., Gebreegzabher, A., Mebrahtu, S., Zerihun, Z., Hoque, S.F., & Charles, K.J (2022) Negotiating spaces of marginality and independence: On women entrepreneurs within Ethiopian urbanization and water precarity. World Development 158
Johnson, Z. (2020). Young Women and Feminised Work: Complicating Narratives of Empowerment through Entrepreneurship with the Stories of Coffeehouse Owners in Wukro, Ethiopia. Gender and Research. Gender a výzkum / Gender and Research 21 (1): 64–88.
Grasham, C., Korzenevica, M., Charles, K. J. (2019). On considering climate resilience in urban water security: A review of the vulnerability of the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa. WIREs Water. doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1344.
Korzenevica, M. (2019). Emerging themes on considering water equity. REACH Research Brief, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
REACH (2015) Country Diagnostic Report, Ethiopia. REACH Working Paper 2, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
University of KwaZulu-Natal: Dr Seifu Kebede
University of Oxford: Dr Katrina Charles, Dr Sonia Ferdous Hoque, Dr Catherine Grasham
Water and Land Resource Centre: Dr Solomon Gebrehiwot, Dr Gete Zeleke
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