To support sustainable water management, build resilience from the impacts of climate change and prevent water-related conflicts across borders, the UK Aid-funded Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF), is investing £30 million and aims to mobilise a further £55 million of new investment in the water sector across 12 countries in Southern Africa. What is the impact? Here is an example from Tanzania.
In the villages of Mitema and Kitangari in the Newala District in southern Tanzania, things are changing quickly.
More children are going to school, a new nursery is planned to open and new houses are popping up like fast-growing mushrooms. The reason: Easy access to fresh water.
With support from the CRIDF programme, the Tanzanian Makonde Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (MWSSA) is renovating and constructing new water infrastructure to ensure sustainable water supply for approx. 510,000 people in the Newala and Tandahimba districts, among the poorest in Tanzania.
The first investment by CRIDF saw the rehabilitation of Mitema wellfield, with installation of six deep boreholes with new pumps and control instrumentation. This has more than quadrupled water supply capacity.
Located just a few kilometers from a renovated supply source, Mitema is among the first villages to feel the impact. A few months ago, with funding from the Tanzania government, pipes were installed and connected the village to the water scheme nearby and local water kiosks were established in the village.
“Before we had to harvest rainwater or walk to the wetlands and try to collect water leaking from the old pumps. It was very time consuming, it was not safe because of snakes and the water was not very clean. Now we can just open one of the taps installed in the village. It has changed our lives,” Halima Hassan, a local villager explains.
Life-changing water scheme in place
Before CRIDF got involved there was already a MWSSA water supply scheme in place consisting of six boreholes and an aging pump infrastructure supplying water to the town of Newala and its surrounding villages. However, the scheme suffered constant breakdowns, with one borehole functional at most times. The growing population, faulty equipment, heavy leakages and low pressure all contributed to a highly inadequate supply.
The aim is therefore to rehabilitate and install new, robust pumps and motors to ensure that the water supply from the pump house is operating as efficiently as possible to supply enough water for the entire district.
The rehabilitated boreholes, pipework and new pumps are now in place - next phase is the rehabilitation of the treatment plant including dosage pumps, upgrade treated water transmission and distribution networks and balancing storages through a further £1.5million investment.
Preventing conflict and climate inflicted water shortage
The Newala and Tandahimba districts close to the border of Tanzania and Mozambique are not the only areas that have been or are still lacking sufficient water supply in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In fact, global water demand is expected to increase with 55% by 2050 due to population growth, particularly on the African continent.
Climate change creates further pressure on water resources and without proper planning and policy, experts predict that water-related conflicts are going to become more common.
That is why UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), in partnership with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), is investing massively in water related projects across 12 countries in Southern Africa. In so doing, CRIDF aims to improve the lives of over 20 million people, who live in extreme poverty in rural areas.
“More people will need to share the transboundary waters in the future as populations are set to grow and climate change puts further stress on the water resources in some of the poorest areas of Africa. Therefore, our support work follows three key principles: build Climate resilience, be pro-poor and promote transboundary cooperation,” says Leonard Magara, CRIDF Chief Engineer (Project Director in COWI, a CRIDF JV partner).