Tanzania’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation, says that the country is still grappling with access to clean water.
This case is not unique to Tanzania alone as availability of clean water is still a challenge in many developing countries. Data from the ministry shows that in Tanzania, only 64% of rural dwellers have access to clean water compared to nearly 80% of urban residents.
Challenges such as access to clean water sources, poor management of the water sources and incomplete water projects still impede the public and private partner’s strides in achieving availability of sustainable water supply and management of water sources.
Various initiatives are underway to close the water supply gap and technology is playing a significant role to expedite the bridging process. Every March 22, the world commemorates the International Water Day, to commend the global efforts, partners and initiatives that ensure sustainable supply of water.
Reducing water wastage
Revolutionizing Remittance Recovery in Water (R3W), is a project funded by Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), to empower communities in Tanzania by building their capacity to reduce water wastage and improve revenue collection. R3W launched a first in the country, electronic water machine called AQtab that is housed in a local kiosk and uses a smart card to monitor and utilize water more efficiently.
The project partnered with local water vendors such as Community Owned Water Supply Organizations (COWSOs), the Karatu Village Water Supply (KAVIWASU) and Endamarariek/Endabash Water Supply (ENDAWASU) and significantly ensured reliable and sustainable water supply in the communities. “Until mid-2018, 1,400 smart cards were disbursed to the community members and made a tremendous impact to the communities especially women whom prior to the invention, spent up to three hours waling to fetch water” said Engineer Ephraim Tonya, the Project manager.
Gongali Nanofilter is another organization that provides safe and clean water to communities across Arusha. With an objective of redirecting the amount of time spent fetching water to productive economic activities, Dr. Askwar Hilonga, the founder of Nanofilter, innovated the tech and assembled 30 Nanofilter stations to provide sustainable supply of water in the communities outside Arusha town. Also funded by Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), the project currently has 100 stations that have significantly bridge the water supply gap across Arusha and enabled the community members to invest their time in more productive economic activities such as small scale agricultural, and livestock keeping.
Given the population growth and increase in water consumption, the Government is accelerating its partner’s efforts by implementing the Water Supply Development Plan (WSDP) which is on its second phase from 2014 to 2019 and also through implementing the right policies to enable successful water projects in Tanzania. WSDP constitutes of programs intended to strengthen institutions in integrated water resources management and improve access to water supply and sanitation services across Tanzania. The Permanent Secretary of in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Professor Kitila Mkumbo recently affirmed scientists and innovators of the government’s support, assuring them that they will enact the right policies towards achieving the mutual objective of sustainable water supply in Tanzania.