I travelled to over seven regions of this country recently and one of the most imposing successes as you move hundreds of kilometers, is the modern roads connecting scores of regions. It’s admirable. But the story is different with regard to access to clean water.
|A pastoralist collects drinking water from a contaminated water source in the northern part of Tanzania|
Despite progress made, provision of water supply remains one of the biggest problems especially in the rural areas. Yet, Universal access to clean water and sanitation is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As President John Magufuli’s new government moves to embark on reforms in the sector, analysts urge it to make it central since it’s a critical role that water and sanitation plays in human development.
One of the global faces of this subject, Professor Anna Tibaijuka, a Member of Parliament for Muleba South, says that since goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, the government should make it central in the new budget whose implementation started in July.
“This is an important recognition of the critical role that water and sanitation plays in human development, and hence, its function in the elimination of poverty in our countries. The effort reached this far to forge global partnership to address the means of implementation to achieve the SDGs is fundamental in social and economic progress not only for Tanzania but to all countries which are still lagging behind to fully achieve the SDGs,” she notes.
Prof Tibaijuka, who is the former chairperson of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), says that in the SDGs, the countries are called on to improve not only drinking water and sanitation but comprehensively to deal with other challenges too, such as, water quality, reduce amount of untreated wastewater, reduce water scarcity, implement integrated water resources management and trans-boundary cooperation, and protect water related ecosystems.
|Initiatives like the drinking ATM installed in India by the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation where clean drinking water is sold at near give away prices will go a long to increasing access to this invaluable liquid if replicated|
Targets 6.1 and 6.2, the two targets related to drinking water and sanitation, set a higher benchmark than the MDGs did not, they emphasize on universal and equitable access.
She adds that the government of Tanzania on its side has participated in the formulation and implementation of these development frameworks. There are a number of interventions in water and sanitation programs that have been envisaged for some time now, with all aimed at improvement of water and sanitation status in the country.
She recognizes the Water Sector Development Program, an effort to comprehensively improve status of people with access to safe, clean and equitable provision of water services in urban and rural; and improving access to improved sanitation.
“This is a flagship project for the Government and the WASH Sector to ensure that more communities are reached with improved water and sanitation services in Tanzania,” she adds.
The Global Sanitation Fund, the world’s only multi-donor financing facility dedicated to sanitation, supports the development of national sanitation and hygiene improvement programmes, which are community-based, government-enabled and commercially operated.
Tanzania is among the beneficiary countries and the program is going hand in hand with and supports the country’s National Sanitation Campaign by facilitating communities improve their sanitation and adopt sustainable hygiene practices.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Community Development Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya, says that Tanzania as a country and member of UN is signatory in the adoption of this agenda of taking stock and re-strategizing for effective delivery of sanitation and hygiene work, since it aligns very much with countries efforts to attain set targets for meeting the SDGs.
He cited that the key role of improved sanitation and safe water supply in the poverty alleviation and economic development efforts at large.
“Our commitment to achieve equitable access to sanitation and safe water is anchored to our recognition that, access to those public services is a pre-requisite for all Tanzanians to lead a life of human dignity; a cause that extends beyond metrics and results to touch on the daily lives of our people,” he says.
Tanzania as a country and member of UN is signatory in the adoption of this Agenda.
In the SDGs, the countries are called on to improve not only drinking water and sanitation but comprehensively to deal with other challenges too, such as, water quality, reduce amount of untreated wastewater, reduce water scarcity, implement integrated water resources management and trans-boundary cooperation, and protect water related ecosystems.
Tanzania has formulated The Water Sector Development Program with the aim of comprehensively improving the status of people with access to safe, clean and equitable provision of water services in urban and rural; and improving access to improved sanitation. The Program took off on July, 2007.
The National Sanitation Campaign was launched in June 2012 to facilitate the sensitization and provision sanitation and hygiene services in Tanzania. The GSF supported program USAFI WA MAZINGIRA TANZANIA (UMATA) is the key support to provision of lessons for improvement the National Sanitation Campaign. Its implementation has taken the direction that allows government systems to capture results and lessons.
In order to encourage good management and prevent excessive profiteering of only specific group of operators, standard contracts will be developed.
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation in collaboration with the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government will supervise the recruitment of registrars at Local Government Authority by 2016. The later will be responsible for registration of Community Owned Water Supply Organizations (COWSOs).
The Ministry of Health needs to develop a guideline that stipulates focus areas on promoting sanitation and hygiene which all the stakeholders will be engaged. This measure will ensure the common goal on sanitation and hygiene is attainable and that through this approach the country commits itself to increase access to improved sanitation to 53 per cent and reduce ODF from 12 per cent to 6 per cent by 2016.
A mechanism to be established by the Ministries of Water, Health and Education to accelerate the mobilization of resources both human and financial which are required for the implementation of sanitation and hygiene interventions. Inadequate resources have been identified as among the barriers to improved service delivery on sanitation and hygiene services in the country.
The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water, Local Government Authorities in collaboration with the network of CSOs will work together to strengthen the private sector participation in the delivery of sanitation and hygiene service by building capacities to the same and creating enabling environment to access technical support and open up the business opportunities on the sector.
The private sector involvement in sanitation and hygiene is expected to be of great importance in strengthening the supply chain on sanitation and hygiene services. Tanzania has set targets to achieve 100 per cent ODF by 2019. This is an ambitious goal.
SOURCE TANZANIA REPORTS