Sustaining rural water and sanitation services through innovative technologies, management models and behaviour change in five villages in Arusha District Council.   

Where did we work?

This project was initiated by the community of Lengijave and an education volunteer from the UK, Louise, who was supporting teaching in the village school. At the time, the community was using poor quality water from open and unprotected wells and few had access to tapped water from the nearby spring.

Working with community leaders and local government authorities from Arusha District Council, a proposal was developed for a water project. During solicitation of an organisation to implement the project, the UK Government contacted WaterAid due to its technical capacity, financial control capacity and existing systems that would help ensure the delivery of the project to a high quality.

The project aimed to:

  • address water scarcity
  • address waterborne and water-related diseases
  • decrease gender-based violence
  • increase the time available to women and girls for paid work and attending school
  • improve the overall wellbeing of the community

What did we do?

After the proposal for the water project was submitted, WaterAid Tanzania engaged the community, the local government authority and the district, and designed the project to provide a water supply in two villages – Olkokola and Lengijave – and three sub-villages – Ngaramtoni, Ekenywa and Seuri.

The main goals of the project were:

  1. To ensure and provide access to a sustainable and affordable water supply and sanitation service to 50,000 people across the five rural communities
  2. To demonstrate scalable technologies and management models which would contribute to the government of Tanzania’s achievement of its sustainable water and sanitation targets.

The team drilled two boreholes with a combined capacity to produce 35,000 litres of water per hour and protected one natural spring. The project team also installed reverse osmosis technology to remove fluoride after large quantities were discovered in the water from the spring and boreholes.

What did the project achieve?

In total, the project has ensured sustainable access to safe water for 23,000 people by establishing a water supply system with more than 100 water points, technologies for water treatment and an eWATERpay system, all of which has the capacity to serve 50,000 people by 2030.

The project also:

  • Conducted technical analysis of an existing water supply system to assess the capacity and functionality of the system.
  • Conducted environmental and social impact assessments in the communities involved in the project, as well as a feasibility and design study for the eWATERpay project.
  • Facilitated two learning visits to successful eWATERpay systems in the districts of Kiteto and Babati. These learning visits gave stakeholders from the Arusha District Authority and Water Utility the opportunity to learn about the eWATER prepayment system and have buy-in before one was constructed for the five villages.
  • Constructed water storage tanks and a water distribution network of more than 50,000 metres
  • Commissioned and installed 71 eWATERpay taps for Arusha Water Utility to operate.
  • Trained 19 staff from the water user association and the Ngaramtoni water utility on eWATER payment systems, tariff setting and payment structures based on users’ income.
  • Raised community awareness of the eWATERpay technology in all five villages
  • Designed a monitoring, evaluation and learning system to track the performance of the eWATERpay system.
  • Reached 23,000 community members with a behaviour change campaign to improve handwashing practices.

The project is a replicable model for sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in rural settings. Through sector forums and other government authorities – from council to regional level – the project has shown Tanzania’s Ministry of Water how to design and invest in large-scale water supply and community water treatment projects, demonstrated best practices for rolling out sustainability initiatives for rural water supply, and a sustainable WASH strategy. The project has also reduced the burden on women and girls to walk long distances for clean water, which has had a positive impact on their economic activities and school attendance.

Top image: Asha Kimoro, a farmer from Sangara Chini, Tanzania, holds an eWATERpay token which she can use to pay for water thanks to a similar project to the Arusha Water Project.