Reaching for Water Helping to finish what they began Empower Tanzania is empowering rural Tanzanians to finish water projects they began and abandoned for lack of resources. Through this project, we are helping them bring water within reach of tens of thousands of people.
Access to clean, safe water is one of the most pressing needs in rural Tanzania. The impact to society when this need is not met is both dramatic and tragic. The infant mortality rate in Tanzania is 11.8%, with 88% of these deaths due to waterborne and water-based diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, and cholera. Other water issues include water scarcity and contamination of water sources. Children are kept from school to walk for hours daily fetching water in buckets for the family, and women are regularly attacked and raped between their homes and water sources, which are often many miles away through remote areas. Empower Tanzania believes that the failure to provide even the most basic water services to millions of people in Tanzania causes devastating human health and economic problems, and therefore is of primary concern in our programming. Reaching for Water works with the Same and Mwanga District Governments, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Same to increase access to safe water. We will do this by identifying projects where we can match our resources with what has already been done, but not completed, to allow water projects to finally reach their objectives…to deliver clean, safe water to people. One example of the work we do is in the remote Maasai village of Katahe near the Pangani River. The river, their only water source, is dangerously contaminated with disease, and home to many hippos, pythons and crocodiles that regularly attack and even kill the animals and people who come daily to use the water.
The District Government has invested money to drill a well, but lost its funding before the distribution system could be installed. The well has been capped, leaving the clean and plentiful water just out of reach of the people who so desperately need it. As part of the Reaching for Water project, Empower Tanzania will open the well, install a pump, and distribute the water for both animals and people. This system will radically alter life for the people who live in the area. Its most dramatic impact will be on the health of the children and women, who bear the burden of finding the daily water.