OVER one million residents in Dodoma Region are envisaged to benefit from a five-year 8bn/- water and sanitation programme, aimed at improving hygiene behaviour.
This was revealed in Dar es Salaam yesterday by the Executive Director of Geneva- based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Dr Christopher Williams, during a press conference.
Flanked by the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Prof Anna Tibaijuka who is also the Chair of the council, Dr Williams said the programme will be implemented by Plan International. "The programme, known as 'Usafi wa Mazingira Tanzania' will use communityled initiatives to improve sanitation and hand washing practices while supporting local entrepreneurs to construct improved toilets.
"It will be organized through local government in the region and coordinated by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare," Dr Williams told journalists at the news conference. The WSSCC donation is expected to kick-start multiple investments by communities, government and international development partners to ensure universal access to sanitation.
Among others, the initiative will promote harvesting of rain water, treatment of water and water wells for water-deprived communities that are making efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene. It will also support households, schools and clinics with local solutions to water scarcity that can ensure effective hand washing and cleanliness of improved concrete-slab pit latrines.
"Communities will be required to contribute matching funds for sustaining the investments. It is obvious that you cannot wash your hands if water is not flowing and neither can anyone maintain an improved latrine without water," he explained. Speaking during the occasion, Prof Tibaijuka thanked the global organization for the support, hoping that it will bring about change in the region.
"We need to change our behaviour and culture towards sanitation because there are some issues which can be solved without money," the minister urged. The WSSCC is a global multi-stakeholder organization that works to save lives and improve livelihoods. Through its work, it contributes to broader goals of poverty eradication, health and environmental improvement in addition to economic development.