Reducing the burden of fetching water in Sangara Village

Image: WaterAid/Docta Ulimwengu

Before our project in Sangara Village, Asha Kimoro used to walk up to an hour to fetch water. Find out how her life has changed since water reached the village.

Sangara Village is located about 40 minutes from Babati town in Babati District, Manyara region and has a population of around 2400 people. It is made up of several hamlets, however most noticeably the village is split into ‘Sangara Chini’ and ‘Sangara Juu’, the latter of which is located in a hilly area. The geographical situation in Sangara Village poses challenges when it comes to water supply, due to the mountainous area, and remote communities.

Before WaterAid's project in Sangara Village, water availability in Sangara was less than 20%, falling significantly below the national average. The village had access to six handpumps where water was pumped from a shallow well. The few handpumps in the village meant that community members were often travelling long distances to fetch water, and on arrival they would often find large queues; in some instances it could take villagers up to three hours to collect water, and some lived over 5 kilometres away from the handpump. Subsequently collecting water could take up a large part of the day, leaving little time for community members to carry out other responsibilities like farming.

Asha Kimoro, a farmer in Sangara Village said: "Before the project came here, I would use one or two hours to collect water. When I would go to the handpump I would find a lot of people waiting. It gave me a lot of trouble, and I would go up to four times a day. We had a big problem with water. But now this project has helped me. There is no traffic and it takes me about five minutes to get water.

Image: WaterAid/Docta Ulimwengu

I would go to the water point in the morning and I would use a lot of time. The queues would be so long. People would come with carriages and donkeys and take so much time getting water because they had a lot of buckets. I felt bad, but we had no alternative so I was forced to wait. Every day I would use around 60 litres of water, or if it is a day where I am washing clothes it would be 80 litres." 

The project constructed a new borehole in the village,  where water is pumped to a water tank, via solar technology. The water tank has a capacity of 100,000 litres and reaches six new water points in the village via gravity flow. Each of the six water points have the electronic prepaid meter, which charges community members 30 Tanzanian Shilling (tshs) per 20 litre bucket of water. 

The new water points has made it is much easier for Asha to fetch water. She no longer has to walk long distances and wait in the queue, and this means she has more time for farming and other responsibilities. Asha said: 

"Now I spend much less time collecting water, the pain of carrying water from far away is not there. I am very happy to get these water services nearby.

I don’t mind paying for water because the burden of fetching water is no longer there. I am paying 30 tshs per bucket. I put money on the ewater token and use it to get water. I use money from my phone to put the voucher on it via airtel money. If there is no money, water will not come. I got trained on how to use the prepaid token by the facilitator who showed us how to use the card. Since that day I put money on it and have been using it ever since.

Image: WaterAid/Docta Ulimwengu

It is easy to use and I like it. The money we used is going to an account for Sangara Village. I hope this money will be used to reach other people in the village to get water. We want others to be able to get water, other community member don’t have it yet and we want to be able to help them."