ETHIOPIA: Xylem to invest in securing access to drinking water

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ETHIOPIA: Xylem to invest in securing access to drinking water © Kritsana Maimeetook/Shutterstock

Xylem, an American water management company, has signed a partnership agreement with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy. The company will work to secure access to drinking water in the East African country.

Xylem is entering the Ethiopian drinking water market. The American company specialising in the management of this resource has just signed several partnership agreements with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy. It was in the presence of Negash Wagesho, Minister of State for Water Supply and Sanitation; Patrick Decker, President and CEO of Xylem and a representative of the United States Embassy in Ethiopia.

In this East African country, Xylem plans to invest in drinking water supply infrastructure, drinking water distribution, transport and wastewater treatment companies, etc. “This exploratory partnership is an opportunity to strengthen our working relationship with the Ministry and build a positive relationship regarding the optimisation of water systems, energy, water and sanitation coverage, and to create a foundation that can guarantee the future of the water sector in Ethiopia,” says Patrick Decker.

Xylem CEO also aims to use the technologies it develops to optimise water and sanitation networks in Ethiopia. The American company will also be able to focus on the mineral water industry. It is currently experiencing very strong growth in Ethiopia, although the public health sector has been concerned in recent years about the level of hygiene and sanitation observed by water bottling companies.

Despite all that, 61 million Ethiopians do not have access to safe drinking water. With regard to sanitation, we are talking about 65%. According to, in some parts of the country, especially in rural areas, many women and children walk for more than three hours to fetch water, often from shallow wells or unprotected ponds that they share with animals.

However, Xylem is also setting up in a favourable climate, particularly “in terms of access to finance; Ethiopia has a vast market with three million borrowers and several state-supported microfinance institutions”. Other companies are already working to provide drinking water to the population. Like Xuzhou Construction machinery Group (XCMG). In early November 2018, it inaugurated 41 water tanks in the village of Goleba Qulito, in the Oromia region.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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