Water is very important to human existence. People need clean water to survive and stay healthy. Lack of clean water contributes to the high mortality rates in children around the world. Despite of its importance, still the access to water remains a major challenge in many countries including Tanzania. Tanzanians are still faced with water shortages with 45.5% accessing water from unimproved sourced (DHS, 2010). Insufficient water supply coverage impacts most, severely on the poor in both urban and rural. The poor make their own, often insufficient arrangements to meet their needs for basic survival.
Most end up fetching water over long arduous distances, others are forced to pay high prices and in some cases with poor quality supplied to them by venders particularly in cities.
CCI together with the federation have been working for over ten years in the informal settlements to improve the standard of living through improving access to water supply. The approach used by CCI and the federation has been extraction of borehole in settlements/areas which have not been supplied with the utility/Municipal water. In areas where utility water supply network is available, construction of Water Kiosks and house hold water connection has been done. By improving access to water supply poor community particularly living in informal settlements have reduced the time spent in accessing water and devote that time in other development activities, it has reduced the cost spent on water, and improved the health living condition of people. The access of water to community is by providing affordable loans through a revolving fund known as JENGA.
Access to water through Boreholes
With the help of data that are obtained through enumeration, mapping and profiling, CCI and the federation have been able to identify settlements with no access to clean and safe water. CCI the has helped community to form saving schemes which is an entry point towards organizing community to access water by providing loans from the urban poor fund (Jenga Fund).
With the help of the technical support from Municipalities, CCI and the federation have been extracting boreholes in these settlements and help them form community water management committees. These committees which are normally dominated by women are trained on management skills, entrepreneurship and meter leading, the skills which help them to run the community water schemes. Monitoring and water quality control is another important part of community managed water schemes. CCI and the federation are working closely with the Municipality’s (Municipal water engineers) who have the responsibility to help the communities to monitor the quality of water.
Water Kiosks, Private water points
Water kiosks typically have several taps normally two to five operated by a kiosk attendant. Our water kiosks are designed to receive water from utilities through a piped distribution network and from drilled communal boreholes.
Water kiosks present an effective way of delivering water services to urban communities where there is a basic domestic supply network in place. The water kiosks serve community who cannot afford to connect at the household’s level. Water kiosks present a unique added advantage to our existing saving schemes where on top of empowering them economically through selling of water, provision of safe and clean water is made possible to wider community and time spent on accessing especially by women is reduced. The water kiosks are owned and managed by community groups through Tanzania urban poor federation who have been capacitated by CCI to manage such enterprise through special identified water committees.
Household water connection
Household water connection is the approach used to make water available to communities where utility / municipal water infrastructures are present but they cannot afford the connection charges. In collaboration with the water utilities, CCI and the federation assist poor communities in areas where water networks are available but they cannot afford to pay for their own connection by providing loans through a revolving fund (JENGA). More than 500 households have been connected serving more than 6,000 people.