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World Bank approves US$350mn water and sanitation project in Tanzania

More than three million Tanzanians in rural areas will be connected to safe water supply, while another four million people will gain access to improved sanitation through World Bank’s new IDA credit for a Rural Water and Sanitation Programme

The new US$350mn Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme aims to increase access to rural water supply and sanitation services in 17 administrative regions and support the government in building strong institutions to sustain access to rural water supply.

“The quality and strength of Tanzania’s human capital are critical, especially as it aspires to become a middle-income country,” said Bella Bird, country director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somalia at World Bank. “There is a strong relationship between water and sanitation access and improved child health outcomes, which is critical for productivity and learning, particularly for girls whose school completion rates are lagging.”

A major issue for Tanzania is the chronic undernutrition which affects one in three children and is linked to poor sanitation. Only 11 per cent of rural Tanzanians have access to an improved toilet and only 50 per cent of public schools in rural areas have the required number of toilets.

Through this programme, up to 1,250 communities and 1,500 schools will benefit from improved sanitation facilities, which directly support the government’s National Sanitation Campaign.

Tanzania has adopted second Water Sector Development Programme to strengthen sector institutions for integrated water resource management and improve access to water supply and sanitation services across the country. The World Bank-financed programme supports the WSDP-2 and includes funding to help establish the anticipated new government agency for rural water supply.

“Under this new World Bank program, activities will be strategically designed to enhance the capacity of the national, regional, and local governments to monitor, ensure quality and improve and sustain water service delivery,” said Kristoffer Welsien, water supply and sanitation specialist at World Bank and co-task team leader for the programme.