Water and Development Alliance

“Increase the self-reliance of the rural villages, enabling sustained access to a safe water supply”

The Situation

In Tanzania 27 million people lack access to clean water (approximately one in two residents). There are an estimated 46,000 failed rural water points, with 20 percent not functional within one year of construction. Reasons for these failures are many and include lack of community buy-in, low community management capacity, and insufficient finances for maintenance and repairs. Historically, donor-funded projects have added to the problem by using short-term success metrics (e.g. number of wells installed) rather than long-term outcome measures (e.g. number of operational days per year per well). Clean water scarcity negatively affects every aspect of human potential beginning with health and nutrition (51% of children under 5 in rural Tanzania are stunted due to chronic malnutrition) and extending to educational achievements and economic prosperity. Development models that focus on long-term sustainable outcomes are desperately needed to reverse this trend and to ensure investments are making impacts long after a well is installed.

This 50m3 rehabilitated storage tank at Sagara provides water to a village school

The Solution

The Global Water Institute has developed the Sustainable Village Water Systems (SVWS) model for rural development. The SVWS model operates at the nexus of water and energy (solar-powered water systems), food (agricultural extension), and health (sanitation and hygiene at schools and clinics) to provide long-term, sustainable development impacts. The “Water and Development Alliance Entrepreneurship for Resilient Village Water Systems in Tanzania Project” (WADA TZ) is deploying components of the SVWS model in 14 Tanzanian villages impacting 70,000 rural Tanzanians. The project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the Coca-Cola Foundation with matching funds from WorldServe International and Waterboys, is installing or upgrading solar-powered water systems and extensive distribution networks to schools and clinics in each village.

The sustainability of these systems will be ensured through two years of technical support to train and develop water service entrepreneurs in performing basic operations and maintenance tasks in each village. This training will increase the self-reliance of the rural villages, enabling sustained access to a safe water supply. In addition, this project will collaborate with the Tanzanian Ministry of Water, their Regional and District Water Engineers, and staff and students at the University of Dodoma to improve management of groundwater suppliers across the nation. This includes the installation of a solar-powered water system training program at the University of Dodoma in collaboration with Ohio State faculty, researchers, and students.

To learn more about the WADA project, check out the fact sheet.