DAR ES SALAAM, March 20, 2018 – Tanzania will need to invest more in water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) if it is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improve human development outcomes, and accelerate poverty reduction, according to a new WASH Poverty Diagnostic published by the World Bank.
Titled “Reaching for the SDGs: The Untapped Potential of Tanzania’s Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector,” the report notes that SDG-6 challenges countries to reach universal access to safely managed water and sanitation by 2030; while its six targets are inextricably linked with other targets including ending extreme poverty, ending forms of malnutrition, and reducing infant mortality.
While Tanzania has achieved significant growth, averaging 6.5 percent over the past decade, with a modest reduction in poverty from 34 percent to 28 percent (2007-2012), it lags in expanding and sustaining basic WASH coverage. More than 23 million citizens retrieve drinking water from unimproved sources, and 41 million people use unimproved sanitation facilities.
“Adequate WASH is a crucial component of basic human necessities that allow a person to thrive in life,” said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia and Burundi. “Outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne illnesses do not only overburden health systems and increase premature deaths, they do also leave a negative mark on the individual’s social mobility, health, quality of life, and their human capital. We are pleased to be a partner with the Government - our current and forthcoming water and sanitation programs will help advance the WASH agenda.”
The Tanzania WASH Poverty Diagnostic is part of a multi-partner Global WASH Poverty Diagnostic initiative being implemented in 18 countries across regions. Its objectives are to highlight the priority gaps in WASH access; identify those regions and population groups that are most deprived of higher-quality WASH services; demonstrate how investment in WASH can aid poverty reduction and human development strategies; and identify the major institutional constraints that hold back effective WASH service delivery.
The recommendations from the diagnostic for Tanzania include:
- Integrating the SDG framework into poverty-reduction strategies and water and sanitation programmatic approaches such as Water Sector Development Program II;
- Making further investment in rural water and sanitation and ‘celebrating maintenance’ to enhance sustainability in the future;
- Addressing utility inefficiencies, the growth in dependence on informal private providers, and the need for expanded regulation;
- Formulating more coherent policy, more clearly define and assign responsibilities for sanitation, and identify sanitation champions;
- Adopting, in urban areas, citywide sanitation approaches that recognize that different solutions are suitable in different contexts;
- Designing WASH interventions with a ‘nutrition-sensitive’ lens and seek to integrate WASH into multi-sectoral strategies addressing education, health, and nutrition outcomes.
- Facilitating efficient, transparent, and predictable financial flows between water and sanitation services actors—from donor, to government, to community—to promote sustainable governance.
“As Tanzania seeks to achieve the ambitious SDG targets, it is more important than ever to assess the current state of WASH service delivery to inform evidence-based strategies that target gaps in service delivery,” said George Joseph, World Bank Senior Economist, who co-authored the report. “The country needs to see the new SDG era as a good opportunity to move its WASH agenda forward ambitiously to improve human development and eradicate poverty.”