Tanzania is the largest of the East African countries. It is about four times bigger than the UK and has a population of 42.5 million. Tanzania is ranked as one of the world’s poorest countries, scoring just 156 out of 174 on the UN’s Human Development Index. Infant mortality is high – 20% of which is attributed to diarrhoea alone – and life expectancy is only 50.
Despite being home to some of the largest fresh water lakes in Africa, many areas of Tanzania are very dry and unable to support agriculture. This is a severe problem as over 80% of families here depend on subsistence farming. Just over half the total population has access to clean water (though the figures are more like 70% in rural areas) and only 24% have adequate sanitation.
The provision of clean water and good sanitation services can make a life and death difference to families and communities struggling to irrigate crops, spending hours transporting water that is often dirty and unsafe and losing too many children to easily preventable water borne diseases.
Just a Drop carried out projects in Tanzania in 2003 and 2009 – providing pit latrines and boreholes in the remote desert region of Singida. It is a privilege for Just a Drop to go into a nation like Tanzania and be a part of bringing some hope to those desperate for some respite from these circumstances.