Improving Drinking Water Quality and Availability at Ngurudoto Village, Tanzania
People at Ngurudoto use three primary sources of water; a spring, a stream, and a tap that is currently funded by the government. The most widely-used water source in the village is the spring which fills a 7 m deep well-like pit at the base of a hill. This spring has been in use since the 1970s. Community members collect water in plastic containers that are manually filled with a smaller vessel and carried to their homes. The water collected is used for a variety of household purposes including drinking, washing, and cooking. People do not usually treat the water before drinking it. The stream is located on the opposite side of the village and is sourced from Mt. Meru. Approximately 300 people depend entirely on this stream as their main water source. This stream has received a reputation for its very high levels of fluoride. Livestock have free access to the stream; animal feces uphill of the stream represent a threatening source of pathogenic contamination. Water from the tap is free but limited during the dry season; many people in the community do not consider the tap water to be clean and prefer to use water from the spring or the stream if those sources are closer to their home.
Source protection systems are a primary need to improve the water quality at this sources. A pump to send water to a storage tank at the top of the hill by the spring would avoid the access of the people in the community to the source and prevent contamination. Bone char filters at the household level are a possible solution to address the high level of fluoride in the water, especially from the stream. A set of rainwater harvesting systems distributed at strategic points in the community with enough capacity to supply the households nearby would provide an alternative source of better quality water thoughout the year.
Improving Drinking Water Quality and Availability at Makiba Village, Tanzania
The Makiba community is currently using a distribution system that operates groundwater pumped through a well. The well that supplies the groundwater is estimated to be 54 m deep, and was built by a colonial farmer in 1952 for irrigation purposes. Currently, the water source is used for drinking and domestic purposes. The community has a storage tank for the water withdrawn from the well with a capacity of about 25,000 L. This source supplies water to the population living in a radius of 4-5 km surrounding the well. Community members need to pay 25 Tanzanian Shillings [TZS] (0.02 USD) for 20 L of water from the storage tank. The community is being affected by waterborne illnesses such as diarrhea and typhoid. Additionally the high level of fluoride in the water is causing dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis (in the elderly) in the population. Sanitation facilities are scarce and most of the ones available consist of unimproved pit latrines that are not properly maintained. The most common water treatment method in the community is boiling; however, firewood is scarce and becoming prohibitively expensive. This situation leaves the population who cannot afford firewood without access to any protection against waterborne illnesses.
For this project, the implementation of a sustainable rainwater harvesting structure complemented with storage tanks has been considered. The capacity and number of storage tanks needs to be determined based on the water demand of the community. Improved ventilated latrines are also a major need. A system (bone char filter) for fluoride removal at the household level can be a possible solution. Sustainable energy efficient cook stoves must be considered to address the firewood availability issue.
Improving Drinking Water Quality and Availability at Enjoro and Einoti Primary Schools
The Enjoro and Einoti Primary Schools are both free for the students of the region. The Enjoro Primary School has 7 teachers who are teaching 620 students (328 girls/292 boys) between the ages of 6 and 13 years. The Einoti Primary School has 5 teachers who are teaching 244 students (143 girls/101 boys) between the ages of 6 and 16 years. Both the Enjoro and Einoti Primary Schools have a tap water from the Olmulo distribution system. No treatment is provided on the water at the schools prior to use. The main concern at both primary schools is the high levels of fluoride in the water surpassing the recommended guideline from the World Health Organization of 1.5 mg/L of fluoride to avoid health issues such as dental or skeletal fluorosis. The students have also been reported to suffer from gastrointestinal illnesses especially during the rainy season. Neither school uses nor has access to any source of electricity. The Einoti Primary School serves its students a lunch of corn and black bean porridge each day. Students collect firewood from home to bring to the school for the cook fire. Finding this source of fuel is getting more challenging for the students.
Bone char filters for fluoride removal are proposed to treat the water available from the distribution system. A rainwater harvesting system will provide an alternative source of water that can suffice the water demand of the schools and the households nearby. Improved energy efficient cook stoves are required for both schools to address the fuel scarcity in the area and provide a sustainable solution.