Less than a quarter of the four million people living in Tanzania’s financial capital have running water in their homes, city water authorities say. With poor areas typically amongst those lacking piped water, most impoverished city dwellers rely on private vendors to bring them supplies.
As a consequence, low-income residents pay higher prices for the vital resource than their wealthy counterparts in plush suburbs. A 20-litre bucket of water has a price tag of about 16 cents, while the same amount piped through a home faucet costs less than one cent, according to London-based non-profit WaterAid. This means a family of five, dependent on the services of water vendors, could spend up to about 84 cents a day on water (although most residents cut back to save money).
In an initiative to extend water provision, the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO) has started to build centrally located water distribution points in areas where piped water is not yet widely available. Dozens of kiosks are up and running, and hundreds more planned, although many are plagued with erratic water supplies. The going rate for a 20-litre canister of water at one of the kiosks is just four cents apiece.
Read more: Sarah McGregor, IPS, 27 May 2008