Four health centres in Mpwapwa, Tanzania, have been equipped with a rainwater catchment system by development organisation Simavi and consultancy firm Witteveen+Bos.

The new improved drinking water facilities were ready for use by February and recently officially inaugurated.

Rain fall at last moment
The director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Change (SDC) was invited to witness the first demonstration of the rainwater collection system. Everything was ready for the big day – except the rain. It hadn’t rained since the storage tanks had been installed, so they were totally empty.

Luckly it started to rain the day before the ceremony, just enough to fill the storage tanks and demonstrate the new system.

dws-simavi-rwc-tanzania-health-care-awareness-350px   Next to building new WASH-infrastructure, an important element of the programme is to raise awareness for hygiene behaviour.

Hunderd primary health facilities
Of the 342 primary healthcare facilities in Tanzania’s Dodoma region, 174 have no access to any water supply. As a result, patients, including pregnant women, are expected to bring their own water to the healthcare facility.

Simavi, in cooperation with Witteveen+Bos and three Tanzanian partners (CBHCC, UFUNDIKO and PATUTA), aims to improve this situation by upgrading water supply and sanitation systems and improve hygiene practices in 100 primary health facilities in the region.

Rainwater collection system
Two local contractors were selected to install the rainwater catchment systems. Construction began by the end of 2014 and included the installation of rain gutters on the roofs of the health facilities. These are connected to one or more storage tanks.

In addition, a bathroom was built next to the delivery room, as well as latrines with hand-washing facilities and a drain for wastewater.

This enables health workers to clean their hands, wash patients with safe water and ensure medical instruments are sterile.

dws-simavi-rwc-tanzania-health-care-tap-350pxSimavi and IRC launched a call for broadening the Sustainable Development Goal nr.6 for water and have universal access to improved water supply also in health centres.

Global initiative
WHO and Unicef believe that all health care facilities can have adequate WASH services if there is coordinated, global action, with leadership from the health sector.

In December 2014, a group of academics and representatives from WASH and maternal and newborn health (MNH) agencies, including WHO, presented a call to action for intersectoral collaboration.

An international group of WASH NGOs, led by Simavi and IRC, launched a call in December 2014 to incorporate WASH targets for schools, health centres and the workplace in the post-2015 development agenda.

This news item was originally publishef on the website of Simavi.

Read also on this website
IRC and Simavi call for universal access to water also in schools, clinics and at work, 5 December 2014

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