This article reports the results of a one-day participatory workshop in Koraro, Ethiopia conducted prior to major development interventions in the region. The methodology of the workshop, structured to generate data useful for understanding the physical and social systems integral to water resources planning, provides a framework for future water need explorations in similar settings in Ethiopia and elsewhere. The use of only improved water sources as a metric for access to water under-represents the situation in Koraro, as many rely on streambeds for water due to the perceived cleanliness and low salinity of this unimproved water source. The reliance on metrics common in the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, such as a minimum distance to a water source and the categorization of potable water based on type of water source, using varying figures (from as many as 30 to as few as four) can lead to assessments regarding the amount of additional sources necessary to allow access to specific locales, that are not consistent with actual need. Since the workshop, the Millennium Village Project has constructed over 30 wells in the region, following the most commonly used distance and source type metrics with less than desirable results. The water access evaluations alone do not address the needs of Koraro residents.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited