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Water is Life!!

The major theme in reports from Tanzania is water. To date, 13 shallow well and irrigation projects in the Ngara, Muleba, Karagwe and Chato areas, which were funded by Tumaini Fund USA donations, are in process or have been completed. This article summarizes Sarah-Jane Allen’s comprehensive report from the field.

The wells bring life and hope to the villages in Tanzania. Many of the old water sources are shared by people, cattle and other animals. As a result, they are filthy and unsanitary. Serious health problems, including typhoid, diarrhea and dysentery, are common. The clean water that these wells bring is life-changing. It will prevent these life-threatening illnesses and improve the lives of the villagers by irrigating crops and providing sustainable food sources. Instead of traveling long distances in search of clean water sources, clean water is available within the villages.

Two major projects deserve separate mention. First, a water treatment and distribution project in Katembe now pumps clean water to communities for use. TFUSA partnered with the Karagwe, Tanzania Rotary Club, the Naples North Rotary Club and Water Mission to store, pump, and distribute clean water. Solar panels now provide power to pump water to the distribution tank and treatment plant. From there, water is pumped more than 5 miles to tap stands at 6 villages, 3 schools and 2 churches. The second phase of the project will extend the pipeline and tap stands closer to each village and build toilet/hand washing facilities at 3 local schools.

Second, a major irrigation project, generously funded by Julie and Al Renken, is bringing water for domestic household use and for irrigating vegetable gardens in Chato. The gardens will improve nutrition, food security and generate income for widows and orphan families. Another pumping and irrigation station sends water from Lake Victoria to outlying communities and enables farmers, AIDS orphans and widows to grow cash crops, including rice and sunflowers. In an area that is bone dry during the dry season, irrigation is life-changing.

Housing Update: The weather has been wet in Tanzania, so the houses donated by TFUSA have not yet been built. Plans are to build the houses, 30 in total, in the drier weather between December and January. Dr. Wilson hopes that construction will be under way, if not completed, by her visit in January 2018.

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