Access to water is a fundamental human right, and one the world has learnt the true importance of over the past year in keeping us healthy and safe. Yet, access to water is a huge issue for numerous villages in Tanzania, meaning many people have to walk several kilometres a day to fetch water, often from dirty ponds, and of course, leaving the communities vulnerable to illnesses.

Often, it is women and girls that make this long walk to fetch the water, meaning that if communities don’t have access to clean water, they are much more disproportionately affected – less time in school for their education, less time to work to improve their income generation. Furthermore, these journeys can me perilous for women and girls, leaving them susceptible to potential assaults. Women and girls already face challenges for equality, without having to walk for many hours of their day to fetch water.

During this past year that access to clean water could have also helped people in our communities stay safe during the pandemic, too.

At Titye secondary school, near Zeze, in Kasulu, the pupils and villagers had to fetch their water from a stream that was approximately 2.3km away. Walking to and from this stream, as well as queuing for the water, could take over two hours of their day.

Mboni ya Vijana knew that this needed to change, and as Benedicto Hosea (Mboni ya VIjana’s founder and local representative) had perfected a technique of hand-drilling a borehole to the water table and installing a hand-made water pump, this was something they wanted to implement at Titye secondary school so they could access clean water. This technology is low-cost, simple, and easy for the villagers to maintain, and thus has proven a very valuable solution in getting better access to water to more people in communities.

With the very generous help of Kwanda’s donation of $1500, Benedicto and the local villagers set to work in hand-drilling the borehole to reach the water. They drilled down a total of 30 metres through hard rock into the ground to ensure that there would be access to water all year round – an incredible feat for the workers from the village. Once the work was complete and the rope pump was installed, it was officially handed over to the headteacher, to be used and maintained by the villagers.

This one water pump will give access to water to approximately 1200 people on a daily basis, including 486 students.

This means that those students will get to spend more time in school, improving their education; that the women in the village can spend more time in their work, improving their income generation, empowering themselves; that the girls and women will no longer face the dangers that the long walk bring, such as assault. Most importantly, this means that the locals will have access to clean water to stay healthy and safe, whether it’s keeping safe against water-borne diseases, or keeping safe from Covid-19 that people in rural Tanzania can be particularly defenceless to.

A huge congratulations to Benedicto from Mboni ya Vijana, and all of the locals that worked so hard to hand-drill and install the water pumps; and a very big thank you to Kwanda for all of their support for this project! We’re glad to see Titye’s students already enjoying the use of their new water pump!