A Watershed Moment: TAMFI and Water.org Propel a Surge in Water and Sanitation Financing in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, August 29, 2023

In a significant step towards improving water accessibility and sanitation in Tanzania, the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) applauded the efforts of microfinance institutions for channelling financial resources to households and SMEs to procure essential water and sanitation equipment.

“By extending financial assistance to over five thousand citizens for water and sanitation projects, we have mitigated the hardship of travelling long distances to access water services,” remarked Winnie Terry, CEO of TAMFI, at a recent stakeholder meeting held in Dar es Salaam.

Ms. Terry accentuated that financial inclusion transcends beyond mere financial transactions, and embeds within it the fundamental right to clean water and sanitation for all.

Structured under the Water Credit Adoption Program (WCAD), this endeavour is the brainchild of a collaboration between TAMFI, the international nonprofit Water.org, and numerous Tanzanian financial entities offering microfinance services. These parties have concretised their partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), envisioning a broadened access to affordable financing options for water and sanitation solutions in Tanzania.

The ambit of WCAD extends to nurturing financial institutions with training and technical guidance, enabling them to design and provide lending products targeting water and sanitation. Regions including Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Pwani, and others have already witnessed the transformative impact of this initiative, with citizens availing loans for water connections and well constructions near their homes.

Terry highlighted, “This project reflects the transformative potential of collaborations between public sectors, private enterprises, and nonprofits in addressing pressing issues such as water and sanitation.”

Echoing Terry’s sentiments, Pendo Massawe, a representative from Water.org, emphasized the necessity of investments in clean water supply and sanitation infrastructure to enhance public health. She acknowledged the efforts of the government but pointed out the existing gap in household financing for these fundamental amenities.

Ms. Massawe urged financial entities to bridge this gap, stating, “By focusing on direct household financing, we can make strides in converting the universal access to clean water from a distant dream to a palpable reality.”

She illustrated the economic viability of such investments, stating that every dollar channelled into water and sanitation financing translates to manifold returns in terms of sustainability, healthcare savings, augmented productivity, and economic growth.

Further highlighting the achievements, Ms. Geraldine Mashele of MMCL Financial Limited noted that 103 households have already reaped the economic and social benefits of the program. Similarly, Mr. Victor Alfayo from the Tanzania Microfinance Bank expressed gratitude for the initiative, stating that it enabled the disbursement of loans amounting to 90 million shillings, empowering families to access water and construct sanitation facilities.

Despite these advancements, the World Bank reports that a significant portion of the Tanzanian population remains bereft of access to essential water and sanitation facilities, underscoring the urgent need to escalate these efforts.

About TAMFI: As a nexus that unites various microfinance institutions in Tanzania, TAMFI seeks to cultivate standardized practices and protocols within the microfinance sector, striving towards an enhanced financial inclusivity in Tanzania.

About Water.org: Water.org stands at the forefront of battling the global water crisis, dedicating its efforts to devise affordable financing solutions that facilitate access to safe water and sanitation globally.

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