During the last few years, there has been an increased level of political commitment to hygiene and environmental health services in Ethiopia. Key policies such as the 'National Sanitation Strategy and Protocol' and the 'Millennium Sanitation Movement' are enabling frameworks that serve to motivate and align relevant actors to speed up sanitation coverage and hygiene behavioral change.
In addition, three key ministries - Health, Water Resources and Education - have joined to launch the 'National WASH' program, which provides a strategic framework to achieve the national vision of universal access to hygiene sanitation by 2004 EFY.
- Increase latrine coverage and ensure facilities are properly handled, sustained and utilized.
- Promote communal solid waste disposal sites.
- Improve medical and other waste management system in public and private health institutions.
- Increase drinking water quality monitoring; and monitor food safety and food processing industries.
Health Extension Workers (HEWs) are playing significant role in carrying out key activities of the program throughout communities. HEWs promote personal and environmental hygiene and provide support to the community; increase community awareness and involvement on safe water supply and prevention of water contamination; promote behavioral change to improve food safety and control vector born diseases; build a "Healthy House Model" and work with relevant institutions to ensure irrigation development projects and water conservation schemes.