Accordingto Wonduante(2007), sustainable provision of adequate and safe drinking wateris the most important of all public services. It is one of the essentialnecessities of life next to oxygen. Anything that disturbs the sustainableprovision and supply of water therefore, tends to disturb the very survival of humanity. Water is thevery basis for sustenance of life.
The importance of water is not only attachedto the drinking but also to cooking, bathing, washing and other activities.Where provisions for water and sanitation are inadequate, the diseases thatarise from contaminated water, food and hands are among the world’s leadingcauses of premature death and serious illness (Yewondossen (2012). There areserious constraints to meeting thechallenge to provide adequate water for all urban dwellers. Water supplyshortage is one of the problems which require greater attention and action.Various strategies are always being developed to make water accessible to allinhabitants. However, due to insufficient infrastructures coupled with rapidpopulation growth and urbanization, the gap between demand and supply of watercontinues to widen in most ofdeveloping countries..
Accordingto the report of CO-water international (2008) in Africa, the water sector is vulnerable to corruption forseveral reasons. the existence of numerous agencies, actors and governmentinstitutions in a single sector blurs lines of accountability and reducetransparency; the water sector involves the procurement of significantqualities of goods with large volumes of public money; informal serviceproviders less subject to official oversight mechanisms play a key role inservice delivery and the widespread presence of monopolies promotes unfair ordiscretionary business practices. Besides, informal providers, often vulnerableto corruption, also play a key role in service delivery. Lui(1985) indicatedthat the sector is characterized by wide spread financial disorder, few serviceproviders are accountable to their customers and financial management is not transparent. Among the many challengesfacing public service institutions in developing countries, corruption remainsone of the most pervasive and the least confronted.
Historically, donoragencies and their clients accepted the inevitability of corruption in publicservice delivery; it was at worst a necessary evil and at best the ‘grease”essential to move the wheels of economic development. For the past threedecades a substantial number of governments, donors and NGOs have focusedefforts on a range of institutional, financial, technical and socialinterventions aimed at bringing about much-needed improvements in the deliveryof water and sanitation services in rural and urban areas in developingcountries. Recognizing the impacts of low levels of access for the poor,approaches have become increasingly targeted and service-oriented: respondingto demand from users, identifying entry points with clients, reacting tosignals in a developing water and sanitation market, and of course steeringthis course with the flow of donor funding. In more recent years, according toPlummer(2006), governments have embarked upon a process of establishing roadmaps (action plans) that plot the long paths of sector reform and serviceimprovement needed to meet the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs). In a number of well-performing states, it looks likesteady progress is being made.
Pathak,et al.(2008) asserted that key drivers of corruption in Ethiopia water andsanitation sector are poor governance, lack of accountability and transparency, low levels of democratic culture andtraditions, lack of citizenparticipation, lack of clear regulations and authorization, low level ofinstitutional control extreme povertyand inequity and centralization of authorities and resources etc .DesalegnR.(1999) identified that Ethiopia has been trying to supply potable water toits population, without great success, for more than a century, while water foragricultural use has attracted high levels of investment, water resourcemanagement for domestic supply has been relatively neglected, especially beforethe post imperial period, even today, rural water supply programs, which affectthe majority at the country’s population have not been given sufficientattention. RIPPLE(2008)concluded that Ethiopia is committed through its universal access plan (UAP) toreaching full covering in WASH service by 2012.
this will be achieved in parallelwith and based up on a process decentralization of a range of a state providedservices, a decentralization processbased in part up on its federal nature, and in part a desire to make servicedelivery more equitable, efficient and effective. The twin pressure ofdecentralization and the ambitions targets at UAP are resulting in arrange atpressing challenge for stakeholders at all levels and scale-form the regiondown to the local level. Modernwater development schemes are relatively recent phenomenon in Ethiopia. Theimperial government took the first initiatives in water resource development inthe second half of the 1950.
Large scale water projects for agriculture purposeand power generation constructedin the Awash valley as part of the agro industrial enterprises that wereexpanding in that area .these developments subsequently spread to the riftvalley and the Wabe Shebelle basin.Theother issue inviting attention in water supply and sanitation sector inEthiopia in general and the case area Aletawondo town in particular ischaracterized by service deficiency of physicalinfrastructure as well as by inadequate management capacity to handle policyand regulatoryissues and to plan, operate and maintain the service. Inadequate production,together with inequitable distribution system and low quality of waterinfluence the well- being of people in particular and the socio-economiccondition of urban areas in general.