MSABI update and reporting of water point survey


The MSABI project is developing into an internationally recognized water and sanitation model of excellence. MSABI uses a multi-layered approach, from direct interventions to development of sustainable local businesses, economic stimulation and capacity building. The objective is to improve access to clean and safe water leading to improved health of the local population. MSABI will expand programs to new regions within Tanzania and internationally. MSABI Ifakara will serve as a base for continual development of best practice and implementation of programs through health and engineering research and focused interventions.

Kilombero district – water point assessment

MSABI mapped and assessed over 750 water points in the Kilombero district (in the villages of Ifakara, Idete, Namawala, Mofu, Mbingu, Mngeta, Mangula). Our study shows that 63% of assessed water points are open wells, 29% of water points are pumps (deep or shallow), and 8% are springs, river or other types of sources. The study determined that the outlying villages suffer most from a lack of clean and safe water supplies. Over 75% of people in the surveyed villages of Idete, Namwawala, Mofu, Mbingu, Mngeta and Mangula rely on shallow open wells and/or river water for drinking water. The survey results are shown in the following graph.

The average depth of boreholes and open wells was recorded and the results are displayed in the below graph. It is evident that on average MSABI drilled boreholes (on average 20-30m deep) are the deepest, and thus likely to provide the cleanest and safest drinking water supply. Further, MSABI boreholes have a concrete sanitary seal to prevent polluted shallow water entering to the deep water intake point. The very shallow average depths for open wells and the high reliance on communities for these water points for drinking water is alarming. These water points are dangerous to health. 94.5% of interviewed open well users reported health problems from drinking the untreated water.

Dale and project manager Hashim inspect a typical shallow open well in a remote part of the Mwiangani Village, part of Idete.  This is the only drinking water source in this area for a radius of more than 2km.  The water is not only dirty and unlikely safe for health, it presents a real risk to women and children who may fall in and drown when trying to collect water.  (This picture was taken in early March 2011 during Dale's visit).

MSABI promotes the use of rope pumps because they are cheap, robust, simple, easy to use and can be easily maintained and repaired. The pumps are manufactured locally in Ifakara, contributing to the local economy – and also meaning spares parts are readily available. The rope pump is not a “flash” or “sexy” pump, however it does the job and matches the needs of the majority of communities in the Kilombero Valley. The below graph summarizes the problem with broken Tanira and SWN pumps. In all villages surveyed there is a serious problem with the majority of Tanira and SWN pumps either broken or with problems that need attention.

MSABI - current status

MSABI is active throughout the Kilombero valley (Tanzania) and uses simple, affordable and sustainable technologies to improve the health of the local population. MSABI is closely collaborating with the local people through business orientated community subsidized projects. MSABI is focusing on 6 different core subprojects:

1. Water point installation: MSABI has installed a total of 150 new water points. MSABI’s core activity in this field is drilling of new boreholes (20 to 30+ m depth) and installation of rope pumps. Since beginning of field activities in mid-2009, MSABI has provided access to water to an estimated 40’000 people.

2. Sanitary installations: MSABI installed a total of 20 private sanitary systems and 2 large systems for schools (1300 children). MSABI designs and constructs above ground compost and split-septic irrigation systems with the aim of protecting shallow ground water resources.

3. Community education: MSABI performed about 800 education meetings in community and schools; educating over 60’000 people about water and sanitation related issues. MSABI also assessed and GPS mapped 750 existing water points.

4. Water treatment systems: MSABI is developing a clay water filter for household based water treatment in close collaboration with a local women group. MSABI developed a production site for prototypes and established lab testing procedures in collaboration with the Ifakara Health Institute.

5. Research: MSABI is performing research and development of water and sanitation installations and research on the health impact of interventions related to water and sanitation.

6. Irrigation: MSABI is developing simple, affordable and safe irrigation systems for the local community. A pilot-scale community system was recently completed in the village of Mbasa.

At present, MSABI is employing around 50 full- or part time local staff. A foreign project manager and 2 foreign engineers are present on site. Strong emphasis is put on capacity building of local managers.