THE World Water Week in Stockholm is a week-long global water conference held each year in August or September.
The World Water Week in Stockholm is arranged and led by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and addresses a wide range of the world’s water, development and sustainability issues and related concerns of international development.
Over 2,500 participants attend the conference each year, featuring experts and members from business, governments, water management and science sectors, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, research and training organisations and United Nations agencies. The conference features plenary sessions and panel debates, scientific workshops, poster exhibitions, side events and seminars.
More than 200 organisations from around 130 countries all over the world collaborate in the organisation of events. Functioning as an open and dynamic platform, the World Water Week aims to help link practice, science, policy and decision making and enables participants to exchange views and experiences, form partnerships and shape joint solutions to global water challenges.
During the week, the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award are given out at their respective award ceremonies.
The World Water Week in Stockholm originally began as the Stockholm Water Symposium in 1991 and has been convened annually ever since.
In 2001, it officially took on the name World Water Week in Stockholm. Past conferences have placed continued focus on specific aspects of the world’s escalating water crisis. According to Water Aid, only 56 per cent of Tanzania’s 50 million currently have access to an improved source of safe water-with over 23 million drinking unclean water from unsafe sources.
This means that most of the population is exposed to serious health impact with the most vulnerable being the children - a situation that is reinforced by available statistics that show that over 3,000 children under-5 years in Tanzania die each year from preventable diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.
While the water challenges in the country still have a long way to be met, the efforts to bridge this gap are immense and they have started to be felt by the people these efforts target.
Zainabu Maulid, a mother of three children living at Usongelani village, woke up at wee hours daily, travelling a considerable distance in search of water for use by her entire family.
Hers had been a routine, day in, day out, since she was a girl - a routine that admittedly, played a significant role in her poor performance at school.
Zainabu is now happy that her children will not take that doomed path of which she had been a victim for almost her entire life. With the drilling of a modern borehole by Tigo at her village, only a stone’s-throwaway from her house…
“It is a blessing now,” she happily says. “We were really suffering when searching for water, but now we will save that time to invest in various economic issues, for the betterment of our families and the community at large.”
She refers to the recent undertaking by Tigo Tanzania which has brought clean and safe water close to residents of Usongelani Village, Urambo District in Tabora Region, by inaugurating a water project worth more than 18m/- at the village.
The donation of the borehole at Usongelani is among the many water projects worth over 383m/- that Tigo has implemented across the country, benefitting over 350,000 residents who otherwise did not have access to safe and clean water.
“Tigo has so far drilled and donated a total of 21 boreholes in 8 regions across the country, with plans to sink 20 more boreholes before the end of the year to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in needy areas across the country,” says the telecom operator’s Acting Managing Director, Simon Karikari.
He adds that the provision of the wells stems from the company’s robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy that commits to support the community in which it serves.
“We are committed to improving the lives of the local community, not only by ensuring that they enjoy good and reliable communication services from our network, but also going a step further to ensure that their individual health and well-being is improved,” Karikari says.
He mentioned the areas of the country that Tigo has drilled boreholes as Lulumba, Kisana, Kisonzo, Songambele, Kinyeto, Damakia, Kinampanda, Muungano, Ighuka, Kamenyanga, Sasajila and Mtinko villages in Singida Region.
Other beneficiaries are Usongelani and Misanza villages in Tabora Region, Nyansoro and Isenye villages in Mara and Nyehunge village in Mwanza.
Additionally, residents of Ulowa in Kahama, Mji Mpya in Morogoro, Msangano in Mbeya and Iringa Rural in Iringa are enjoying clean and safe water, thanks to Tigo’s timely intervention.
It is expected that the availability of clean and safe water will not only boost the local residents’ health but will also increase economic productivity, particularly for girls and women who will no longer need to spend long hours on finding clean water elsewhere - an undertaking that gives girls the opportunity to freely attend schools and for the women to engage in economic activities.
“Besides contributing to national economic growth through consistent payment of taxes, Tigo has played a pivotal role in national development especially in providing safe and clean water services in the country,” Karikari said, adding that Tigo was also keen on supporting the government’s effort to alleviate the existing shortage of safe and clean water in the country.
The Acting Managing Director expressed Tigo’s optimism that the construction of the boreholes will, in one way or another, spur Tanzania’s Development Vision 2025 that aims at reducing abject poverty levels and providing quality of life for the citizens.
This exemplary social investment from Tigo bolsters the global policy on water security as the world once again, marks the annual World Water Week between 27th August and 1st September, this year.
The World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues and this year it will address the theme: “Water and Waste: Reduce and Re-use”- a message that calls upon all stakeholders to do their utmost to protect water environment and resources by using water wisely and respecting its importance in our societies.
Perhaps, Tigo’s redeeming deed was captured better by the Tabora Regional Commissioner (RC) Aggrey Mwanri, while inaugurating the well in Usongelani.
Commenting on the telecom company for providing the much-needed shot-in-thearm to the needy community, noted that Tigo had been at the forefront in promoting development projects in the country that lead to a healthy and productive society.
“Tigo’s gesture is a grand move that all well-wishers should emulate,” said Mr Mwanri.