Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Changing lives in Tanzania, one pump at a time

Something as simple as quick access to clean water can transform the future of a community.

The 4,000 inhabitants of Lusala, a village in south-west Tanzania, depend on farming for their livelihood, yet the lack of immediate access to water inhibits the community’s growth.

As part of the Community Water Initiative, the UNDP spent $40,000 on a water project in Lusala which enabled local villagers to set up an easy-access water supply mechanism. The water scheme relies mainly on gravity, and is therefore a very inexpensive measure that has life-changing benefits.

One villager is grateful for the changes:

Life is much better now that I have clean water near my house. I don't walk all day in the heat to find water. In three to five minutes you fill your bucket by turning a tap. The water project has saved every woman in Lusala a lot of hardship and time. My children, and even myself, used to fall sick because of dirty water. Now we don't run to the hospital complaining of diarrhea any more. With clean water, we enjoy good health.

This community-led initiative demonstrates the impact that targeted programs can have, and is a great example of how seemingly small projects can achieve direct impact on human life. One step closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Tanzania.