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“Can you imagine walking 4 KM daily to fetch 20 liter water for drinking in 21th Century” Yes, it is a common phenomenon in rural areas of Tanzania.”
Access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation is necessary for health, poverty alleviation and gender equality. Yet, in Tanzania 21.6 million people do not have access to clean drinking water and have no choice but to drink water from unsafe water sources.
Nearly half of the population’s main source of water is rain fed ponds, streams, rivers and oceans. Usage of such contaminated water exposing people to risks of infectious diseases and death. In addition, women have to walk two to three kilometers a day wasting considerable time, to fetch their daily water requirements.
“Every Year over 7,000 children die from diarrhea due to unsafe water and poor sanitation in Tanzania. (Water Aid Tanzania)”
Since 2009, Islamic Help Tanzania has been working to improve the wellbeing of communities by providing water solutions in the form of water pumps, boreholes, wells, rain (roof) harvesting, solar powered boreholes, establishment of Harim and water conservation and hygiene education. To date, Islamic Help has built 157 water systems in 7 Districts of Tanzania, Tanga, Mafia, Muheza, Pangani, Temeke, Ilala, Mkuranga, Kisarawe, Kilwa, Kibululu and Bagamoyo, daily benefitting over 56780 people.
“Drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold.”
Mariam 37, is living with her 3 children in Meka village, Pangani District. She used to get up at 5 early in the morning to travel 3 kilometers to fetch two buckets of water from the river side. It took her almost two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening every day to arrange water for daily drinking and cooking. “Half part of our lives is spent on fetching water for drinking”. The water that she used to fetch was not safe for consumption purposes, therefore her children often fell sick from cholera and other serious waterborne diseases. ‘This is what I am seeing from childhood; you can miss anything but cannot miss two trips of water daily. Having a water source near your house is just like a big luxury that only lucky people can have, it saves time and gives clean water for drinking” Having safe water source in the village is like a lifeline for people.
Islamic Help installed a hand-pump just a few yards away from Mariam’s house, helping 378 households to have a reliable access to safe water source. There is always a long queue of people happily waiting to fetch clean and safe water from the well. Because of the time Mariam has been able to save, she started growing vegetables in her kitchen garden, hoping to grow more in the near future which can provide her with an extra income.
Access to water, sanitation and hygiene services is very scarce in Pangani District. Only 4 out of 34 schools have access to clean drinking water which results in students often suffering from infections like Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), respiratory tract infection or dysentery.
A primary school in Meka village has 250 students and 7 teachers (4 men, 3 women Before the successful intervention of Islamic Help, the school’s nearest water source was almost 2 kilometers away which forced children to attend make-shift unhygienic toilets. Almost 90% of them were diagnosed with UTI, an infection which can lead to lifelong health-related complications.
Islamic Help built a rainwater harvesting system having storage capacity of 5000 litres, making the water sufficient for hygiene and sanitation for the most part of the year.
“Children are very happy, they can drink the available to them water, wash their faces in hot summer and use it in toilets” says head teacher.
The villages targeted for digging water wells were suffering from acute water shortage. In many of these areas, the main sources of water were rain fed ponds, streams, rivers and oceans extremely risky for health.
In addition, women had to walk two to three kilometers a day wasting considerable time, to fetch their daily water requirements.
Water project is helping to prevent water-related diseases and death by providing impoverished communities with access to permanent sources of safe and clean drinking water. With the financial support of our prestigious donors, Islamic Help Tanzania dug 178 wells so far benefiting: