The Tanzanian government has launched an accelerated solar pumping programme through an innovative financing project. The project is being led by the government through its TIB Development Bank and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, the government agency overseeing the supervision of rural water supply projects and supporting community-based water supply organisations regarding managing, operating and maintaining rural supply schemes. These organisations are the main source of sustainable water and sanitation services in rural areas and vital to the project’s success. The World Bank is contributing funding to the project.

RSK Environment Ltd has a joint venture with eWATERservices company that, with assistance from RSK Tanzania, is installing and maintaining solar-powered dispensers (pay-as-you-go meters) in Singida and Dodoma regions in Tanzania, covering nine districts and 70 villages. More than 500 meters will be installed. The dispensers will deliver the essential element to almost 170,000 people across the two rural regions. The low-cost, pay-as-you-go system uses mobile technology that is already serving 110,000 families across the Gambia, Ghana and Tanzania, and has dispensed more than 260 million litres of affordable, accessible and clean water to rural communities. Thanks to deep mobile penetration across Africa, RSK’s joint venture company is seeking to help those without affordable access to clean water. eWaterpay comprises a solar-powered tap that is connected to a digital wallet and situated in a village community. Through the solar-powered dispenser units, the villages can collect revenues that will be used to cover the costs of accessing clean water and maintain the systems. The intention is that, over time, the communities can take control of operating and maintaining the systems.

The successful completion of the project in mid-December 2021 heralded answers to the twin challenges of water infrastructure maintenance and availability. The successful project offered 24/7 access to water, unlike before, when people could access distribution points only at a specific time. The system will enable communities to have continuous access to affordable and clean sources of water.