Al­le­vi­at­ing wa­ter short­age through bore­holes do­na­tion

The African - - SOCIETY -

Wa­ter is a fun­da­men­tal hu­man need. Each per­son on Earth re­quires at least 20 to 50 litres of clean, safe wa­ter a day for drink­ing, cook­ing, and sim­ply keep­ing them­selves clean. Pol­luted wa­ter isn’t just dirty it’s deadly. Some 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple die ev­ery year of di­ar­rheal dis­eases like cholera. Tens of mil­lions of oth­ers are se­ri­ously sick­ened by a host of wa­ter­re­lated ail­ments many of which are eas­ily pre­ventable.

The United Na­tions con­sid­ers univer­sal ac­cess to clean wa­ter a ba­sic hu­man right, and an es­sen­tial step to­wards im­prov­ing liv­ing stan­dards world­wide. Wa­ter-poor com­mu­ni­ties are typ­i­cally eco­nom­i­cally poor as well, their res­i­dents trapped in an on­go­ing cy­cle of poverty.

Ed­u­ca­tion suf­fers when sick chil­dren miss school. Eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties are rou­tinely lost to the im­pacts of ram­pant ill­ness and the time-con­sum­ing pro­cesses of ac­quir­ing wa­ter where it is not read­ily avail­able. Chil­dren and women bear the brunt of these bur­dens.

Wa­ter is ob­vi­ously es­sen­tial for hy­dra­tion and for food pro­duc­tion but san­i­ta­tion is an equally im­por­tant, and com­ple­men­tary, use of wa­ter. A lack of proper san­i­ta­tion ser­vices not only breeds dis­ease, it can rob peo­ple of their ba­sic hu­man dig­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) and UNICEF in 2004, one out of six peo­ple in Tan­za­nia lack ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter.

The main causes of this dire sit­u­a­tion, the re­port says, in­clude pop­u­la­tion growth, high lev­els of wa­ter con­sump­tion, cli­mate change that has led to shrink­age of the sources of wa­ter and over-graz­ing in live­stock rear­ing ar­eas.

The glar­ing gap cre­ated by the re­sul­tant wa­ter short­age is what Tigo Tan­za­nia is try­ing to bridge by dig­ging and do­nat­ing wa­ter bore­holes in ar­eas that have se­ri­ous wa­ter short­ages.

Stud­ies show that even in most ru­ral ar­eas where there is wa­ter, the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties have to walk for two to three kilo­me­tres in search of the com­mod­ity ei­ther to the pub­lic taps or where there are nat­u­ral streams and rivers.

Among the ar­eas that have, year in, year out, borne the brunt of wa­ter scarcity is Singida Re­gion. The re­gion was Tigo’s first point of fo­cus in the tele­com’s quest to sup­port the gov­ern­ment in its ef­forts to pro­vide the im­por­tant so­cial amenity to its cit­i­zens.

De­spite the gov­ern­ment’s for­mu­la­tion of a ma­jor wa­ter sec­tor re­form pol­icy in 2002, wa­ter avail­abil­ity and san­i­ta­tion re­mains low in most ar­eas.

Early this year, Tigo do­nated 12 wa­ter bore­holes worth over Tshs. 174 mil­lion in vil­lages in Singida in a bid to ‘al­le­vi­ate the ex­ist­ing short­age of safe and clean wa­ter in the coun­try.

Speak­ing at a han­dover cer­e­mony held at Mtinko Vil­lage in Singida dis­trict in Siginda Re­gion, Tigo North Zone Di­rec­tor, Ge­orge Lu­gata, said the do­na­tion is in line with the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to sup­port com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives seek­ing to uplift peo­ple’s liv­ing con­di­tions.

The vil­lages that ben­e­fited from the do­na­tion with their dis­tricts in bracket are Lu­lumba, Kisana, Kisonzo, Songam­bele, Kinyeto and Da­mankia. Oth­ers are Mu­ungano, Ighuka, Ka­menyanga, Sasajila, Mtinko and Ki­nam­panda.

“The do­na­tion is part of Tigo’s in­vest­ment on so­cial projects that have high im­pact on the com­mu­nity. We be­lieve that through these bore­holes, Tigo is help­ing to solve peren­nial wa­ter short­age in this part Singida re­gion partly caused by lack of suf­fi­cient rains par­tic­u­larly in the past four years,” Lu­gata said.

Lu­gata said the scarcity of wa­ter in most dis­tricts in Singida re­gion has led to res­i­dents wast­ing a lot of time in search of the com­mod­ity, a prac­tice Tigo hopes will now come to an end with the pro­vi­sion of wells.

The han­dover was wit­nessed by the Min­is­ter for Wa­ter & Ir­ri­ga­tion, Eng. Ger­son Lwenge. He thanked Tigo for the timely do­na­tion, say­ing the bore­holes will greatly re­duce the per­sis­tent wa­ter short­age in the area and help to bol­ster the res­i­dents’ so­cial and eco­nomic well­be­ing.

Call­ing other stake­hold­ers to join the ef­fort the min­is­ter said: “We sin­cerely thank Tigo for sup­port­ing us in our ef­fort to solve the ex­ist­ing short­age of wa­ter in Singida and in­deed in other regions in the coun­try. We be­lieve the 12 bore­holes will go a long way in re­duc­ing this re­cur­rent so­cial prob­lem.”

The ben­e­fi­ciary com­mu­ni­ties were all smiles as they thanked Tigo for the much-needed shot in the arm.

Eliz­a­beth Kingu, a res­i­dent of Mtinko vil­lage, thanked the tele­com say­ing: “Am very grate­ful for the do­na­tion of these wells be­cause I can now ac­cess clean, safe drink­ing wa­ter near my home. Pre­vi­ously, I was trav­el­ling for over ten kilo­me­tres to ac­cess wa­ter”.

Echo­ing her sen­ti­ments, John Makalla, a fa­ther of four chil­dren said: “My fam­ily was wast­ing a lot of time trekking for kilo­me­tres to look for clean wa­ter. Now, with the do­na­tion of these bore­holes from Tigo, my wife and chil­dren can get wa­ter eas­ily and have am­ple time to per­form other core du­ties”.

The im­pact of wa­ter short­age in most cases leads to a com­bi­na­tion of epi­demic dis­eases such as cholera, di­ar­rhea and ty­phoid.

In 2010, statis­tics from Tan­za­nia’s min­istry of wa­ter in­di­cated that only about 44% of peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas had ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter. The avail­abil­ity of the com­mod­ity in ur­ban ar­eas, the re­port noted, stood at about 79 per cent.

A state­ment from Tigo says that the tele­com has a strong cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­gram that sup­ports a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties within the fo­cus of ed­u­ca­tion, health and well­be­ing and en­vi­ron­ment that is meant to con­trib­ute to im­prov­ing the lives of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity it serves.

Al­le­vi­at­ing wa­ter short­age through bore­holes do­na­tion By Cor­re­spon­dent in Singida Wa­ter is a fun­da­men­tal hu­man need. Each per­son on Earth re­quires at least 20 to 50 litres of clean, safe wa­ter a day for drink­ing, cook­ing, and sim­ply keep­ing them­selves clean.

Pol­luted wa­ter isn’t just dirty it’s deadly. Some 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple die ev­ery year of di­ar­rheal dis­eases like cholera. Tens of mil­lions of oth­ers are se­ri­ously sick­ened by a host of wa­ter­re­lated ail­ments many of which are eas­ily pre­ventable.

The United Na­tions con­sid­ers univer­sal ac­cess to clean wa­ter a ba­sic hu­man right, and an es­sen­tial step to­wards im­prov­ing liv­ing stan­dards world­wide. Wa­ter-poor com­mu­ni­ties are typ­i­cally eco­nom­i­cally poor as well, their res­i­dents trapped in an on­go­ing cy­cle of poverty.

Ed­u­ca­tion suf­fers when sick chil­dren miss school. Eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties are rou­tinely lost to the im­pacts of ram­pant ill­ness and the time-con­sum­ing pro­cesses of ac­quir­ing wa­ter where it is not read­ily avail­able. Chil­dren and women bear the brunt of these bur­dens.

Wa­ter is ob­vi­ously es­sen­tial for hy­dra­tion and for food pro­duc­tion but san­i­ta­tion is an equally im­por­tant, and com­ple­men­tary, use of wa­ter. A lack of proper san­i­ta­tion ser­vices not only breeds dis­ease, it can rob peo­ple of their ba­sic hu­man dig­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) and UNICEF in 2004, one out of six peo­ple in Tan­za­nia lack ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter.

The main causes of this dire sit­u­a­tion, the re­port says, in­clude pop­u­la­tion growth, high lev­els of wa­ter con­sump­tion, cli­mate change that has led to shrink­age of the sources of wa­ter and over-graz­ing in live­stock rear­ing ar­eas.

The glar­ing gap cre­ated by the re­sul­tant wa­ter short­age is what Tigo Tan­za­nia is try­ing to bridge by dig­ging and do­nat­ing wa­ter bore­holes in ar­eas that have se­ri­ous wa­ter short­ages.

Stud­ies show that even in most ru­ral ar­eas where there is wa­ter, the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties have to walk for two to three kilo­me­tres in search of the com­mod­ity ei­ther to the pub­lic taps or where there are nat­u­ral streams and rivers.

Among the ar­eas that have, year in, year out, borne the brunt of wa­ter scarcity is Singida Re­gion. The re­gion was Tigo’s first point of fo­cus in the tele­com’s quest to sup­port the gov­ern­ment in its ef­forts to pro­vide the im­por­tant so­cial amenity to its cit­i­zens.

De­spite the gov­ern­ment’s for­mu­la­tion of a ma­jor wa­ter sec­tor re­form pol­icy in 2002, wa­ter avail­abil­ity and san­i­ta­tion re­mains low in most ar­eas.

Early this year, Tigo do­nated 12 wa­ter bore­holes worth over Tshs. 174 mil­lion in vil­lages in Singida in a bid to ‘ al­le­vi­ate the ex­ist­ing short­age of safe and clean wa­ter in the coun­try.

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