WATERAID Tanzania has called upon the government and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) stakeholders to continue committing more funds to the sanitation sector for the services to be accessed by majority of the population.
WaterAid Country Director, Ms Anna Mzinga said that it is vital for everyone to have access to decent sanitation services that are safe, reliable, and inclusive to withstand climate change, which has led to severe weather events destroying sanitation infrastructure.
She made the remarks as her organisation joined the world to mark the World Toilet Day (WTD) which is commemorated on every November 19.
She said both the government and WASH innovators need to plan and roll out appropriate sanitation infrastructure, especially in urban areas, to help communities become more resilient to extreme weather events.
Ms Mzinga added that the infrastructure should consider sanitation workers in informal sector, participation and requirements of women, girls, and disabled communities to ensure toilets are inclusive for everyone, everywhere.
According to her decent toilets and sanitation protect the most vulnerable and keep people safe and healthy.
“The services mean that children can go to school and get an education, mothers can raise their babies safely, and women and girls can stay clean and safe during menstruation,” she said.
She further detailed that, in Mainland, households in urban areas (33.5 per cent) are likelier to have improved toilet facilities than those in rural areas (8.9 per cent), while 70-80 per cent of the urban population resides without the necessary sanitation infrastructure and waste collection services.
“The study indicates that only ten towns/cities had sewerage systems, and even then, they covered a tiny proportion of the population (only 20 per cent of the total urban population) …this shows that sewerage services in urban areas need more attention,” she said.
She detailed that, WaterAid Tanzania piloted innovative technologies for safe pit emptying and innovative methods by working with small entrepreneurs to test viable sanitation, business models.
“Water and sanitation are two aspects that intersect, and we cannot address one without the other. Having decent sanitation systems in place doesn’t only help to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases. Still, it plays a vital role in protecting groundwater from the extreme impacts of poor sanitation,” Ms Mzinga noted.
On the other hand, she said in 2021, her organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health conducted a study of the working environment of sanitation workers in the informal sector on sanitation services in the regions of Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Arusha.