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Clean Water Improves Health and Lives in Tanzania

A woman shows her joy at being able to pump clean water in Tanzania. Photo: Zaida Bastos

April 23, 2012

By Simon Chambers

PWRDF and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) worked with the Diocese of Masasi to bring clean, drinkable water to over 33,000 people living in 10 villages in Tanzania.  In a country where the dry climate makes growing food very difficult ¾ of the year, access to clean water is incredibly important!  Neema Ndedya, a resident of Mkwapa village, said:

I used to walk 8km to carry a bucket of 20 litres of water every day.  Overall, I spent four hours a day fetching water.  Of course, 20 litres was not enough for my family, who needed 120 litres””an average of 40 litres per person per day.  Those days are behind us.  Now, it takes me less than 30 minutes back and forth from the water well.  Because of the short distance, my family helps and we can each carry a bucket.  It makes my burden lighter and we can have more water for domestic use and keep ourselves clean.

Access to clean, safe water has helped to improve not just the  lives of women like Neema in the communities, but has also improved their health.  Water borne diseases including cholera, diarrhea, and typhoid are less common in the villages now.

30 men and 30 women in the region learned to manage the water resources.  The villages now have water management committees which have planted trees around the water points, fenced the wells off to protect them from vandalism and know how to repair and maintain the water points.  A water attendant is always present to oversee and manage the use of the water points, and to collect user fees.  The fees help to fund the maintenance of the wells.  Vulnerable people including orphans, people living with AIDS, the elderly, and people with disabilities are exempt from water fees.

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