Water ‘is a game changer in woman’s life’

WOMEN draw water from a kiosk. Their happiness is to have the service in their neighbourhood ( File photo)


ACCORDING to the Integrated Labour Force Survey 2014, five households out of 10, equivalent to 54.6 percent in Tanzania mainland reach water services within 400 meters and 11.2 percent are forced to walk over two kilometers in search of the service.

Women and girls have been mentioned as victims of the situation, walking long distances to get water. As they grapple with this kind of harsh life, they cannot participate in development activities, says TGNP-Mtandao, a non-governmental organization, involved in gender balance issues.

Only 13.5 per cent of time is spent by women on production activities, compared to over 23 per cent for men. Unfortunately, women’s activities have been regarded as their personal home chores, which have never been calculated in the Gross Domestic Product.

The survey however, admits there is advancement in water services provision; saying findings show that water situation has been improved in rural and urban areas.

Availability of water rose to the average of 5.15 percent per year for three years consecutively. “The highest water status appeared in 2010 when the sector grew 6.3 percent. It was 4.0 percent and 4.9 percent in 2011 and 2013.

For economic activities, availability of water and environmental sanitation, it was 3.7 percent in 2014 compared to 2.7 percent in 2013,” says TGNP Executive Director, Lilian Liundi.

TGNP’s quick analysis on Ministry of Water and Irrigation 2017/18’s budget shows that the total of clients connected to water service network increased from 405,095 to 432,772 within only March of 2016.

The move contributed in water availability in urban areas to reach the average of 86 per cent. All those successes derived from implementation of the Big Results Now initiative.

Availability of water in rural areas has risen to 21.9 million people from 15.2 people in July, 2013 equal to 72 per cent. As of March 2017, about 22.9 million citizens, equal to 72.58 percent of those living in rural areas had access to water services.

The gender balance organization prized the government to prioritize implementation of the ongoing 509 water projects in various municipalities as well as starting new projects in rural areas.

The government also planned to implement water projects in areas with drought and water problems such as Dodoma, Singida and Shinyanga regions. There was also the budget for developing and constructing water ponds; Implementation of the on-going and start of new projects to improve water services in Dar es Salaam city.

TGNP confirmed to have been satisfied with the budget, set for its areas of work in rural districts with laam districts with 1.1bn/- for Ilala, Kinondoni 653m/-, Temeke 540m/- and Ubungo 653m/-; according to Ms Liundi, adding: “ The ministry expects to collect 590bn/- from the tender documents’ sales, research charges, quality water laboratories services.

This will be an increase of collection to 6.78 percent, which will probably encourage further water projects implementations.” Various donors have been emerged to support the government’s efforts in provision of water services to as many Tanzanians as possible.

Time To Help-Tanzania is currently dealing with Bagamoyo District dwellers in Coast Region. It has donated water wells not only to curb domestic water problems but also for development projects.

The organization has already donated about 15 water wells, with ability to produce (each) not less than 2,500 litres per hour according to Time To Help Officer, Mr Ibrahim Bey.

“We have one caution to the beneficiaries. Please ensure protection of the wells. They are solid enough to provide services years and years to come,” he cautioned. The organization last week handed over 11 wells to Yombo, Kisutu and NiaNjema Wards residents in the District.

During the wells handing over ceremony, Bagamoyo Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Shukuru Kawambwa said the only challenge remaining was availability of reliable energy to support water supply to all in need.

“For the time being, the generators of the wells will run on , diesel, I’m not sure we will be able to attend to all neighborhoods though. We do expect providing reliable services after the implementation of another phase of Rural Energy Agency programme, to take off in the near future,” said Dr Kawambwa.

He urged the residents to consider efficiency when using water, saying the generators were too expensive to run, given that generators needed a huge amount of fuel.

Dr Kawambwa added that apart from domestic water consumption, there was also a plan to introduce horticultural activities; especially after implementation of REA project, which will guarantee availability of enough water, for multiple uses.

According to him, sufficient energy will also support setting livestock water drinking chambers, as efforts to prevent conflicts between farmers and pastoralists in the area.

Commenting on water demand in the District, Dr Kawambwa said further efforts were needed as water supply was below 50 percent in Bagamoyo; adding: “We are struggling to meet with as many donors as we can instead of depending on the government budget alone.

It is our expectations that water supply will rise to at least 80 per cent by 2020.” Yombo Ward Executive Officer Mohamed Usinga commented that the services supposed to be free but beneficiaries should experience the so called ‘coast sharing’, to support availability of artificial energy.

However, he didn’t disclose the amount to be contributed by beneficiaries; saying the water committee was on the way to set the price, especially after calculating how many litres of fuel are needed per day.

“Committee members are meeting next week to settle these issues including taking water sample to the government chemist, to establish to what extent water is safe for human consumption,” he said. 1.79bn/- for Mbeya, Morogoro 1.86bn/- and Kishapu 2.3bn/Others were Dar es Sa

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