Water Shortage in Rural Areas Tanzania

Water shortage in rural Tanzania

Water shortage in Tanzania has been a problem for years now, the problem is even bigger in rural villages. According to WHO, one out of six people lack access to safe drinking water  in Tanzania (WHO/UNICEF jmp, 2004). It has been well documented that water shortage has been caused by population growth, high level consumption and climate change which has shrinked the resource of water.

In villages like Ishinde where I grew up, water shortage is a big problem especially in dry season. During this time women and children wake up early and walk for long distance to find water. This chronic water shortage ikn my area causes a serious concern to all of us. Study shows in rural Tanzania people walk for 1to 3 km daily in search of water from public taps where available, or natural streams and carrying heavy containers on their heads aof about 20 to 25 litles per trip.

There is another problem of long lines at the point of water tap or boreholes where people spend hours to wait for their turn. Apart from this stagnating economic activities  in these communities, it is scary if it happent to have any kind of contamination of these water sources, the whole village will be at risk.

The government of Tanzania has acted by decentralizing the water sector, but despite the effort by the government on major reform on the sector since 2002, access to water and sanitation remain low. In rural areas only about 44% of people in 2010 had access of water (ministry of water).

Water shortage have impct on the wellbeing and economic activities of the community. Water shortage leads to poor sanitation, lack of safe drinking water and overcrowding at water sources. These is a perfect combination for epidemics of infectious diseases like cholera, typhoid and diarrhea. As people spend most of their time to fetch water, other economic activities stall and this is a perfect recipe for poverty. A teacher at Primaty school told me that during the dry season, they see attandance at school drop especially for girls as they help their parent to search water. As we all know, absesnteeism is one of the factor which lead to poor performance at school.

The issue of water shortage can be solved through more water sources, better distribution and less waste of it. We need to develop a know how at the lovcal level, we need to get water technicians to survey at villages to locate areas where safe and clean water can be obtained.

We need to increase and improve financing at local level. NGOs can help in this area as local authority don’t have enough funds located to them from district levels. This will help in distribution by digging more clean water wells in these rural areas.

Evaluation, monitoring and protecting water resources is also very important. Education is needed in safegurading these natural water sources in the area.

We ask everybody to join in our effort to increase water supply by digging more wells in Njoro  area. Let us work together to educate people the importance of building permanent toilets in their household as this will decrease contamination of water sources and decrease transmission of infectious diseases during the rainy seasson. These effort needs money, we ask for your donation. This will make a differnce to people in NJoro  area.


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