Problem Addressed

The MA.U.A Program was established to address the challenge of creating improved hygiene and sanitation services in rural and peri-urban areas of the Iringa region. The program addresses the challenge of hygiene and sanitation conditions in schools and in the general community.

The challenge of sustainable water supply services is also a problem in most villages in Tanzania, Iringa in particular. Most water supply services in rural areas are not sustainable, in part due to a lack of administrative skills among the water users groups (WUG) and water user associations (WUA).

Innovative Approach

IDYDC operates primarily in the southern highlands of Tanzania, concentrating on two districts and focusing on rural areas. They recognize the importance of community-driven projects, use local technology and focus on local people. For instance, they train locals and manufacture locally. Funded by USAID, they use international experts to train their initial local cohorts. They have a SMART Center, which is a training center for WASH entrepreneurs.

After the entrepreneurs are trained, they are provided with initial capital and supported in establishing their own companies, which are subcontracted with IDYDC. This allows increased improvement of technology after training, and the flexibility to innovate. The entrepreneurs are then linked to communities, who can now go directly to WASH entrepreneurs to fulfill their needs, thereby establishing a healthy supply chain. IDYDC also has a microcredit program, which allows the villages to pay for water programs and be supported for six months to a year.

Program Solution

Maji Usafi wa Mazingira na Afya (MA.U.A) in English stands for Water Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH). The MA.U.A Program is focused on sustainable solutions to WASH challenges. Their first objective is to help increase poor rural and small town dwellers’ sustainable access to a clean water supply in the Iringa region. IDYDC provides access to water through the application of low-cost manual drilling and pump installation technologies. MA.U.A. trains and supports local drillers to do this. They then train communities on the operation and maintenance of the pumps, lowering costs and making them more sustainable. Through a participatory approach, the community feels ownership of the service which makes the intervention more sustainable.

Their second objective is to increase sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene services for poor rural and small town dwellers in Kilolo district. Their programs operate through an edu-sports approach, which reaches a large number of students in primary and secondary schools through tournaments, sports, and games. The students get hygiene and sanitation education easily through play. The program uses special games penetrated with sanitation and hygiene messages. Youth are also trained on building low cost latrines in their community, and the community then buys the product from the group of youth.

Their third objective is to increase the number and capacity of private sector entrepreneurs and businesses providing WASH services in the Iringa region. The program identifies, trains and builds the capacity of WASH entrepreneurs, including water filter distributors, well drillers and pump manufacturers. IDYDC gives them a form of capital and techniques related to their technologies.

Through its Multiple Use of water Services (MUS) program, IDYDC also address creating livelihoods and coping with impacts of climate variabilities. Through the program, IDYDC facilitates linkages and collaborations between experts of various livelihood activities. For example, some of the experts know about home gardening through drip irrigation, while others know about livestock keeping such as chicken husbandry, goats, pigs and bee-keeping. Moreover, IDYDC’s WASH financing options allow the community to access water supply and sanitation services on a credit basis.