dws-simavi-sdc-health-centres-tanzania-770px-1Dutch public health organisation Simavi has been awarded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to prepare an extensive project in Tanzania for drinking water supplies at primary health facilities.

Simavi is the project manager in this initiative with consultancy firm Witteveen & Bos and local NGOs the Community-Based Health-Care Council (CBHCC), PATUTA and UFUNDIKO, who complement each other in knowledge and experience.

In the next six months, Simavi and its partners will undertake thorough field research and develop a plan to realize reliable water supplies at as many small health centres as possible in Dodoma Region, Tanzania.

There are in total 342 small health centres and dispensaries in Dodoma, serving 2,1 million inhabitants, of which more than half currently has no water supply at all.

Malfunctioning water supply
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been supporting the development of the health sector in Dodoma Region since 2004. A major impediment for further improvement is the malfunctioning or absence of reliable water supplies.

Out of 342 health centres in the region more than half has no access to water at all. Only a third has access to tap water and the remaining part has access to water via boreholes yet the quality of the water is unknown.

Therefore, SDC has now prioritised upgrading of water supply at primary health facilities as one of its strategic areas in Dodoma.

Ewout van Galen, program officer at Simavi: "This programme shows our commitment to work together with both governmental and private actors to export our Dutch expertise on water, sanitation and hygiene. Simavi is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation."

Sustainable principles
dws-simavi-sdc-wash-tanzania-350pxIn addition to drinking water supplies, Simavi will also work on establishment of management structures and the promotion of hygienic practices by medical staff and patients.

To implement this project, Simavi will apply it's Sustainability Principles for WASH-projects. This framework is composed of five elements that aim to cover the whole sustainability spectrum: Financial, Institutional, Environmental, Technical and Social sustainability (FIETS). 

Mobile phones
Another interesting feature of the project is the  introduction of an innovative monitoring tool Akvo FLOW. Akvo FLOW is a mobile phone application to map and monitor water supplies. This enables e.g. government officials charged with water services to monitor and communicate the state of the water supply facilities at the health centres covered by the project.

Work, plan and budget
The first six months focus on a field assessment, mapping of the hydrological situation of the area and baseline studies, which will all lead to a detailed Work Plan and budget. After approval of SDC upon the Work Plan, Simavi and her partners hope to start the realization  of the upgrading activities for as many health facilities as possible, with the goal to reach out to all 2 million inhabitants of Dodoma.

Water and health
Water and Sanitation is one of the important social determinants of health, and poor living and working conditions is a major contributor of communicable diseases. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 70 percent of the diseases in Tanzania are caused by poor access to safe water and hygienic sanitation services. Most of the death cases reported in Tanzania are associated with poor hygiene: dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

About Simavi
Public health organisation Simavi can draw on over 30 years of project experience in Tanzania, with the Dodoma region being the central point of project coordination for interventions on preventive health-care and water- and sanitation activities.

Simavi finances and strengthens local organisations in developing countries and stimulates collaborative ventures between organisations working towards that goal.

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

More information
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