One of the main reasons of water points in Tanzania not functioning a few months after being installed is poor management of the facilities, weak community management structures and poor accountability by concerned actors, a policy audience has learned.
Speaking at a regular Policy Forum debate held on the 25th of October 2013, Mr. Fred Mpendazoe, the Senior Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Adviser at SNV, a Netherlands Development Organization which focuses on capacity building particularly to local organizations, said an inquiry process to see why these water points collapse so soon after installation led to this conclusion.
Mpendazoe also added that the survey found that people were not involved in the planning process so there was no sense of ownership, resulting in community members perceiving management of water points as the responsibility of those who funded and constructed them. “Community Owned Water Supply Organizations (COWSO) are very important for creating functionality of the water points but need support from the Local Government Authorities”, he said.
To this end, SNV in collaboration with other organizations came up with a framework so as to strengthen the relationship of the main actors at the local level and address the problem of accountability, said Mpendazoe. The framework was piloted in over 20 districts with the aim of providing a platform for local communities to discuss the non-functioning of water points as well as training counselors. This intervention resulted in the revival of over 200 water points, he said.