The village "Majeleko" lies deep in the hinterland of central Tanzania - approx. 130 kilometers west of the capital Dodoma. The village has an extremely little infrastructure and electricity connections are costly. In particular, the inadequate water supply and impure water from remote rivers presents the villagers with serious health problems.
At the Folk Music Festival in Rudolstadt 2014, Rolf Stahlhofen draws attention to water as a human right. A group of Tanzanian women from the tribe of the Gogo (The Wagogo Dancers) fascinated with their traditional singing and dancing. Here they are stars, but in Tanzania these women live in great poverty without anything as basic as access to clean water. The contaminated water that is available causes skin and stomach infections or more serious illnesses, which especially children suffer from.
Together with the festival organizer, the WIR Foundation visited the village of Majeleko to get an accurate picture of the local situation and started the Majeleko water project in cooperation with the Udo Lindenberg Foundation.
The villagers have thus far drawn their water from a river bed over a kilometer away. This hour-long trek is difficult but necessary because the lives of their families depend on it. This work is mostly done by women and children. An average family has to go on several treks every day to collect enough water for basic domestic needs.
Without access to clean water, the everyday life of families revolves around water supply. That is time that is lacking for other work to finance improved family health or the education of children.
That is why the Water is Right Foundation supported the villagers’ request to install a water pipeline with an electric pump. As a result, the time required to fetch water has been reduced from over 4 hours per family per day to just a few minutes.
Due to the heavily contaminated water, a relatively complex filter system was required to be installed. This allowed the water to be disinfected and the salt and fluoride content to be reduced.
The WIR team trained the future operators in the basics of the filter system in the hopes of being able to create a small, local and self-sufficient water business for the villagers.
WHAT WE FOUND.
The kilometer-long pipeline and electric pump has saved women and children several thousand hours of water over the past three years.
That time could be used for the education of children and women, as well as work to finance their livelihood, thus working against the poverty cycle.
Illnesses could be reduced immensely through the consumption of filtered water
A local water business was initiated through the “water kiosk”. The income from the water sales was used for the pay for drinking water transport buckets; wages of the workers; electricity costs and the extension electricity to their remote village.
OLD & NEW
It remains a challenge to generate enough revenue from sales to pay for the maintenance the drinking water treatment system.
The water purification machine requires spare parts and consumables every two to three years to remain in operation.
The women (operators) must be trained in management skills and financial systems in order to manage and manage their local business more effectively.
A new water source has to be found because the villagers are no longer allowed to run their pipeline to the river access point. A new drilled well would be an ideal long-term solution.
The villagers could use the opportunity to use their filtered drinking water for sale e.g. to the nearby stops. The profit from water sales could be an important source of income for the villagers.