Amref Project Update: Clean water is everybody’s business

This year Tauw started supporting the five-year health programme ‘Clean water is everybody’s business!’. With this project Amref Flying Doctors is working on providing access to clean (drinking) water, sanitation and hygiene for 140,000 people in Addis Abeba, Afar and Oromia (Ethiopia).

Flying start

Marjolein Ooijevaar, Amref Flying Doctors project manager, manages this project and set off for Ethiopia for the inception stage. She says: “The project has just started, which means that there are a lot of exploratory talks with partners for example. We are now laying the groundwork for the future and among other things formulating the learning needs of the project. For example how we can improve the scalability of the existing twelve water kiosks, and how we can promote cooperation with public bodies.

Other priorities are the benchmark measurement, getting the entire team on board and finding suitable sites where we can carry out our project. The government will have to cede land for this purpose, so that will take quite some doing.”

A good example

A public shower has been realized in the Kechene slums in Addis Abeba (see picture). A cold shower costs 5 Ethiopian birr (€0.20); a hot shower is 15 birr (€0.60). The shower is combined with a coffee shop and a car wash which shows business acumen.

Marjolein: “When visiting a project like this we pay attention to positive matters as well as any points for improvement. In this case we ask ourselves if the water used for the car wash can’t be re-used water.”

And this is now being worked on: the small company has started installing the infrastructure for ‘recycling’ water. In addition investments have been made in solar energy (to heat water) and ways to cooperate more closely with the local authorities are being explored.

Clean water: a matter for everyone!

Amref launched the five-year health programme ‘Clean water is everybody’s business!’ at the beginning of 2016. The local authorities within the urban areas in Ethiopia have neither the budget nor the expertise to tackle water, sanitation and hygiene problems. Additionally, policies are often not implemented effectively. Amref Flying Doctors is now addressing these problems with Tauw’s support. The project focuses on:

  • Providing information and training sessions on hygiene to children at schools and to slum dwellers.
  • Installing and expanding facilities for clean water and sewer systems in slums and schools with the help of local partners.
  • Training and supporting government officials in their management tasks. Partnering with the local business community and involving citizens in the decision making process.
  • Motivating (and supporting) young people and women to set up small businesses focused on sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene. This includes for example public showers and toilets.

Tauw & Amref Flying Doctors

Tauw signed a three-year agreement with Amref Flying Doctors in June 2014. With this contract we are committed to water-related Amref programmes. For more information about Amref Flying Doctors and the wonderful projects that they carry out visit

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