Let's think together: Every week the World Bank team in Tanzania wants to stimulate your thinking by sharing data from recent official surveys in Tanzania and ask you a couple of questions. This post is also published in the Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen every Sunday.
There is no doubt about the importance of water to human existence. People need clean water to survive and stay healthy. Lack of clean water contributes to the high mortality rates in children around the world. Water is also critical to a country’s development as it is needed not only for agricultural productivity but also for industrial production. Yet access to water remains a major challenge in many countries. Tanzania has been blessed, both on the surface and below ground, with three times more renewable water resources than Kenya and 37 per cent more than Uganda.
Despite the vast amounts of fresh water available, many Tanzanians are still faced with water shortages due to insufficient capacity to access and store it both in rural and urban areas. Few households have access to clean drinking water from a piped source. Only a small fraction of rural households can access water to irrigate their farms. The following statistics illustrate the magnitude of the problem: