Tanzania ICS

It’s the rainy season in Tanzania: What are the implications for sanitation?

13th April 2018

Mvungurumo, a Gogo tribal village, lies in the Kongwa District of Tanzania’s Dodoma region, in the Eastern centre of the country. It has no access to running water, meaning that its 1,016 residents rely on a single pump which provides them with salt water. It costs the community members 50 TSH (approximately £0.02) per bucket of pump water, with the money collected going towards community development.

The semi-desert environment of the village, with clay soil, allows rain water to collect and form multiple, small, temporary ponds during the region’s rainy season. This water is unsafe for drinking and for other domestic uses. However, the cost of the pump water deters some community members from using it. Instead people in the village are choosing to use the unsafe pond water, with many people unaware of the potential health risks of this practice.

Ponds are formed by rain water that has collected in the village.

During the dry season, these temporary ponds dry out leading to the community members using water from the village river instead. Use of this water carries reciprocal health risks to the pump water for the community members. Village members also often walk their livestock through these water sources, adding to the potential risk of disease to those who use it.

Rain water that has collected in the village, forming ponds.

A group of volunteers from Raleigh Tanzania, working in partnership with ICS and the Tanzanian Government, are currently working in this village to raise awareness of the importance of different water, sanitation and hygiene issues. As part of this project, volunteers having been working with the community on the topic of water safety, covering water purification, safe water transport/storage and education on different water-borne diseases e.g. Cholera.

Volunteers have taught lessons on these topics in the village primary school, discussed the issues with different community groups during mobilisation meetings and engaged the entire community on the subject during their community action day. This work aims to work towards Sustainable Development Goal 6, ensuring availability and sustainable management of clean water and sanitation for all, with the hope of reducing the health risk of water in this village.

Volunteers raising awareness in the local community at an action day.

Words by Lorna Adamson and Sheila Mpokonya with contributions from Laura Clarke, Exaud Nelson, Ben Bliss and Ramadhan Salehe and Louise Surrige. Images by Ben Bliss. All volunteers are currently living and working in Mvungurumo village.

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