65.5 million

Despite being on course to become a middle-income country, one in four people here survive on less than £1.50 a day. Inequality is a big problem, and positive changes rarely benefit those who need it most.

Most people live in rural areas – and it’s here that services are weakest. Women and girls waste days walking to fetch water. Healthcare staff have no way of keeping their patients safe. Schoolchildren have nowhere to go to the toilet.

Across the country, climate change is threatening the livelihoods of farmers who rely on rain for their crops. Temperatures are rising and droughts are becoming more frequent, putting existing water supplies under huge pressure.

And as more and more people move to towns, water and sewage systems are struggling to cope. The poorest neighbourhoods have no clean water or ways to deal with dangerous waste.

people don't have clean water.

That's nearly 2 in every 5 people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

That's around 45.4 million people.

under 5 die from diarrhoea every year.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

Our work in Tanzania

We’ve been working in Tanzania since 1983. Our priority is reaching the people who have been left furthest beind with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

We’re helping the government to reach their ambitious goals, by providing expert training and support to local authorities. We’re using our experience getting clean water to remote, rural places to help others do the same. And we use everything we learn during our projects to influence government policy at a national level.

Happy and healthy pupils

More and more children are enrolling in Tanzania’s schools – but the number of toilets and water points hasn’t caught up.

Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Agnes Pius teaches at Guse Primary School, in the Babati district. Her pupils would often rather stay at home than come to a school with no decent toilets or clean water – missing out on invaluable education.

Agnes Pius is a teacher at Guse Primary School and also the head of the school's SWASH Club.
Image: WaterAid/Eliza Deacon

Since we worked with our local partner to build a new toilet block and accessible water points, Agnes’ students are healthy and clean, and her classroom is full of children eager to learn.

I have seen a change in behaviour when it comes to hygiene. Students now wash their hands with soap after going to the toilet, and they wash themselves daily.
Agnes Pius, 51, teacher at Guse Primary School

Sharing good hygiene

We run workshops and set up school clubs where students learn about staying clean and healthy, then share this knowledge with their classmates. For many girls, the classroom becomes a safe place to talk about periods, overcome stigma, and learn how to manage their menstruation hygienically.

Benita, 15, and Grace, 14, together with Ms Tabu Nsolo Nkombo 30, Kakora Primary School Head Teacher, in a menstrual hygiene rest room where girls get assistance in case they are on their period while at school, Kakora Primary School, Nyanghwale Distr ...
"In our School Health Club I have learnt about personal hygiene during menstrual periods" – Grace (r) and Benita learn about hygiene at their school club, supported by headteacher Tabu Nsolo Nkombo.
Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

"Having a good and clean toilet is a source of dignity"

After learning about the dangers of poor hygiene from village healthcare workers, Domitila persuaded her husband to build a better toilet. Now, her whole family understands the importance of keeping it clean and washing their hands to stay safe from diseases.

Domitila Elikana, 26, a village role model for sanitation and good hygiene practices, who has influenced her husband to construct an improved toilet rather than using the traditional latrine, Chikobe Centre hamlet, Geita district, Tanzania, June, 2019.
Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Turning on the taps in health centres

One in five Tanzanian health centres has no water, and nearly half have no toilets. We’re determined to change this.

Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Across the country, our projects make sure that doctors, nurses and midwives can wash their hands and equipment. Wards can be kept clean and waste disposed of properly. Mothers can give birth safely. And patients have somewhere clean, safe and private to go to the toilet.

Kakora Dispensary, in the mining district of Geita, is a small clinic with just one building and a single bed for women in labour. Before our project, there was no running water, no toilet, and no way of disposing of medical waste. Women were scared to come here, preferring to give birth at home instead.

We built a solar-powered system that supplies the dispensary, school and wider village with clean water, alongside toilets and an incinerator. Now, nurse Grace can stay clean, run a safe facility, and spend her time focusing on her patients, instead of fetching water.

Grace Nabenga Lufu, 31, a nurse, with a healthy three hours old baby girl after medical examination. She says now that the labour room has easy access to safe water her work is more easy and enjoyable, Kakora Dispensary, Nyanghwale District, Tanzania, ...
It has not been easy to work here because our dispensary was lacking most of the basic requirements.

Today, everything is easy, I just open the tap and water flows.

I am excited about all these improvements. Sanitation and hygiene conditions have greatly improved. With these changes, more and more people are expected to come to the dispensary for health care services.
Grace Nabenga Lufu, nurse, Kakora Dispensary

Supporting sanitation workers to claim their rights

Julius earns a living by emptying pit toilets in Dar es Salaam. He provides a vital service – but there’s little protection for workers like him. We’re raising awareness of the dangers sanitation workers face, and urging governments to improve conditions.

Julius Chisengo, 49, sanitation worker, stanging outside a latrine after emptying and cleaning it, Kigambon-Umawa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June, 2019.
Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Responding to COVID-19

We’ve been working closely with the government to promote important hygiene behaviours, especially good handwashing, as part of the National Sanitation Campaign, 'Nyumba Ni Choo'. Together, and with the support of national celebrities, we’ve reached communities through radio, television, SMS, social media and loudspeakers.

In collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam, we’ve installed contactless handwashing hubs at busy public areas across the city, providing more people with the facilities they need to stay clean and safe.

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Delve deeper into our work

Explore the latest publications, research and policy papers from our work in Tanzania.

WaterAid Tanzania

Discover more on the WaterAid Tanzania website.