Significant efforts to improve water supply and sanitation (WS&S) in Ethiopia have been made over the past decade, yet it is unclear how progress has affected different segments of the population. This study used data from Ethiopia's Demographic and Health Survey (2000, 2005, and 2011) to assess trends in: 1) access to improved water supplies; 2) use of improved sanitation; 3) use of untreated surface water as a primary source for drinking water; 4) open defecation; and 5) water transport times greater than 30 minutes. Trends were assessed by urban/rural residence, administrative region and education. The study found increases in access to improved water supplies and reductions in open defecation; however, no progress was observed in the use of improved sanitation. Rural households that reported drinking untreated surface water went from nearly one-third in 2000 to one-fifth in 2011. No improvements were found regarding the reported time spent collecting water. Inequities in WS&S remained high across the country, highlighting the need to focus on these differences and target resources towards sub-populations that lack this fundamental necessity.

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