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World Bank Board Approves Additional Funds for a Joint Program to Improve Water Access for 1.5 Million Tanzanians

June 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved support to Tanzania to help expand access to safe water and sanitation services for the poor in rural and urban communities, and to improve the management of the country’s natural water resources.

The new US$44.9 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA*) provides additional funds to primarily scale-up the components of the ongoing Water Sector Support Project (WSSP). This project is designed to provide safe water and sanitation facilities for rural and urban residents, and support institutions to facilitate efficient, integrated management of the country’s water resources.

Approved by the Board in 2007, the WSSP is contributing to the first phase of the Tanzania Water Sector Development Program (WSDP) which spans a 20 year period from 2006-2025. The program is supported by the Government of Tanzania, multiple development partners and other stakeholders and has already delivered key development results, such as the completion (or ongoing completion) of sub-projects in 918 villages. These sub-projects include 26,468 new or rehabilitated water points to benefit 6.7 million rural people, support to water utilities to increase access to 2.8 million urban dwellers, and support to local governments to improve sanitation for 180,000 households, or approximately 900,000 people.  To ensure adequate water resources management the project will help establish basin-wide water resources management plans and strengthen key institutions.

“The WSSP is providing equitable access to water and sanitation facilities, which are key factors for better health and improved quality of life for poor people in rural and urban communities in Tanzania,” says Philippe Dongier, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania. “After a slow start, implementation of this priority program has significantly accelerated during the last two years. It is now producing impressive results in increasing access to water supply in both rural and urban areas.”

The scaling up of the WSSP will enable the WSDP benefit 8 million rural and 3 million urban people in the entire Tanzania. In particular the WSSP is expected to improve water service through the construction of 5,279 additional water points in 628 villages. This will include 49 multi village schemes, or about 938 new water points, and will provide water to 234,624 rural people.

“By bringing water services to poor communities in villages and urban centers, the WSDP will enable girls and women to spend less time fetching water for their families and more time being involved in education and economic activities,” says Yitbarek Tessema, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “The end result of the project will be improved health and vitality, and new opportunities to create income, reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity for Tanzania’s many poor families.”

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