According to a recent, government-conducted household survey, just 52% of Tanzanians have access to an improved water source (defined by the World Health Organization and UNICEF as likely to be protected from outside contamination by nature of construction or through active intervention). Approximately one third of the nation’s land is semi-arid to arid, and this climate only exacerbates the dearth of infrastructure to provide safe and sanitary water. As a result, access to this vital resource remains out of reach for a majority of the rural population. According to the WHO, waterborne disease continues to be a leading cause of death in the third world, creating lasting socioeconomic issues throughout areas with limited access to potable water.
Recognizing the overwhelming need for a clean water solution, Global Sustainable Partnerships began a project to install water filters in the Meru District, Tanzania. This project aimed to
- sustainably enhance access to clean and safe drinking water for students in primary and secondary schools, and
- transfer knowledge and skills through community training on health, hygiene and sanitation practices.
GSP developed a strategic distribution plan designed to train and empower teachers and students to install 200 Hydraid Biosand Water Filters, which have a 10 year lifespan, throughout 69 primary and secondary schools in Meru District. Phase 1 of this project initially distributed 42 filters to 19 schools, with at least 18 primary and 13 secondary schools expected to receive filters soon. These efforts have tripled the reach of the project just 6 months after its initial launch.