Problem Addressed

Ding’wida, Mihembe and Lyowa villages in Mtwara district have been suffering from poor hygiene and sanitation and lack to access safe and clean water. People have been open defecating (OD) and drinking water from unimproved shallow wells and pits without boiling or filtering it. This leads to diarrhea, dysentery, and other diseases due to poor quality water and availability. Leaving this problem to continue unabated accelerates poverty as people continue to spend more money seeking medical care.

Those that cannot afford clean water instead fetch dirty water 7km from the village and transport the water cans all uphill to the village where they can sell the water for 1000Tsh (approx. $1) per bucket.

It is against this background that the project seeks to also support the community in creating awareness on hygiene and sanitation issues, support them in project planning, and formulate and train community-owned water supply organizations that take deliberate roles in supervising and managing the project. Furthermore, the project seeks to find a permanent solution for water access for community so that they can improve sanitation and hygiene practices and raise the sanitation and health profile of their villages.

Innovative Approach

TAEEs wanted to build a model that is centered on communal involvement, and to facilitate continuous WASH services for communities. To do this, they involve local vendors that train workers and take over the operation and maintenance of the network. In addition, they have a regular communication flow, check-ins and updates locally. Communication between village leaders is also imperative.

The district water engineer is responsible for working with the community to assure sustainability of the program, and to put the team together. To do this they emphasize participatory planning. Interaction between the engineering team and district management facilitates and mobilizes people to participate in the project and enhances accountability.

Program Solution

To solve the existing water problems in these communities, the Community Water Supply and Sanitation Program (CWSSP) developed several solutions including participatory planning that involved project beneficiaries from the beginning to plan, implement, supervise and manage their project. Members are trained on the importance of accessing safe and clean water, and the need to boil or filter water from unsafe sources. To achieve this, the program used different approaches such as community participatory planning (CPP), demonstrations and role-plays, energizers, practical activities and field observations. They make sure that community is well informed and committed to and participating fully in project implementation, operation and maintenance.

CWSSP also introduced rainwater harvesting technology and a number of rainwater tanks were built in Ding’wida, Rudipe and Lyowa. The program scaled to incorporate four villages and form a five village water scheme that included Mpapura, Lyowa, Nanyani, Mabatini and Utende. To solve the sustainability issue, the project trained local water vendors, intake caretakers, and water network artisans who took over maintenance responsibilities and do daily checks on the system functionality and remedy any problems. When there is a major challenge it is then to be reported to district for further consideration. The whole process is building towards having a concrete and solid water user management model that can be replicated in other villages.