Tanzania’s water and sanitation crisis

4 million people in Tanzania lack access to an improved source of safe water, and 30 million don’t have access to improved sanitation. People living under these circumstances, particularly women and girls, spend a significant amount of time traveling long distances to collect water. In Tanzania, demand for both water and sanitation are high and the market for water products (storage tanks, pipes, rain harvesting facilities, etc.) and suppliers appears to be dynamic. By taking advantage of the growing digital finance sector, there is a strong opportunity to scale our impact in Tanzania. In Tanzania and around the world, people are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and millions are striving to endure this crisis with an added challenge. They lack access to life’s most critical resource – water. Now more than ever access to safe water is critical to the health of families in Tanzania.

Our impact in Tanzania

In 2016, Water.org facilitated a Tanzania market assessment to evaluate the country’s readiness for our Water Credit solution. Results found that Tanzania offers a significant market opportunity and demand to launch Water Credit due to its fast-growing economy and use of digital finance.

We began piloting water and sanitation lending programs with a commercial bank, Equity Bank Tanzania, in September 2017. Through this direct lending partnership, Water.org equipped Equity Bank with the knowledge and skills needed to deploy small, affordable water and sanitation loans to households living in poverty as well as larger, corporate loans to water and sewerage

We’ve since expanded our partnerships with local financial institutions, increasing the availability of loans for water supply and sanitation services, and helping more people solve their water crisis.

Currently we are exploring working directly with water service providers at the community level to enable them to provide household financing options such as payment plans or small loans. This will help reach new households in need while expanding the business development opportunities and customer base for the utilities.

Water for his family and his village

Bakari is a young man who lives in rural Tanzania south of Dar es Salaam with his parents and siblings. Growing up in this region Bakari is all too familiar with the water crisis. Read more about how Bakari solved his family’s water crisis and that of many in his village