Water, sanitation and health in Tanzania

Oxfam New Zealand no longer works in Tanzania.

In recent years our Oxfam Water for Survival Programme, in partnership with WaterAid, worked to provide water and sanitation for 6000 people living in poverty in Tabora, Tanzania, where few people have access to fresh water and basic sanitation.

Benefits included:

  • Water points with hand pumps.
  • Improved sanitation.
  • Health education for all villagers.

The programme also:

  • Provided training for health educators so that health education work can continue and grow.
  • Provided training of local masons and pump caretakers so that the facilities can be properly maintained.
  • Supported and worked with the district administration so that the work is sustainable in the long term.

About Tanzania

It is estimated that 70% of the rural population in Tanzania does not have access to clean, safe water. There is little sanitation in rural areas.

Women and children are usually responsible for collecting water for their families. They spend many hours every day carrying heavy loads of water. Often it is contaminated, but there is no alternative.

lsa Ali builds a latrine at his home after watching a demonstration of the method. He began improving his old latrine by surrounding it with a structure. Everything is made from local trees – the ropes, walls, supporting posts and ventilation.
Photo: Jim Holmes/WaterAid


Carrying heavy water containers is an exhausting task that takes valuable time and energy, keeps women from income generation and child care, and keeps children away from school.

Tabora is the second-worst served of 20 regions in Tanzania in terms of water supply and sanitation. Just 13.2 per cent of rural households in Tabora use an improved water source; the national rural average is 46 per cent.