What is the current situation in rural areas?

In Tanzania, access to water in rural areas is 65%, with the target of the Water Sector Development Programme being 85% by 2021. One of the key challenges the sector is facing with regards to rural water services is sustainability. Data from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation shows around 35% of water points in rural areas are no longer functioning. This is due to a number of reasons, including: inappropriate technology, lack of capacity from the Community Owned Water Supply Organisation (COWSO) and communities' willingness to pay for water.

Poor sustainability means that money is being invested in repairing schemes, as opposed to extend the water systems. It also means that while the water points are no functioning, community members are reliant on unsafe sources of water, which are often several kilometres away.

What are we doing doing to solve these challenges?

In light of this, WaterAid Tanzania has been working to pilot new technologies, management models and financing schemes as a way to answer some of the sector challenges in rural water services. This has included:

  • solar pumping systems for boreholes
  • prepaid water meters
  • engaging microfinance institutions to facilitate loans

We currently have projects in this area in Arusha and Manyara regions. Find out more about these projects below:

Looking at new ways to finance WASH in Sangara Village

In Babati, WaterAid Tanzania worked in partnership to pilot a revolving loan model as a way to finance a water project in Sangara Village. The prepaid meters are supporting the community to pay the loan back at 30 tshs per 20 litre bucket.

Image: WaterAid/Docta Ulimwengu